I have traveled through some beautiful parts of America these last three days. Going through Georgia and Alabama I was struck by the majesty of the creamy magnolia blossoms, glowing like Christmas candles. Purple vetch wildflowers and crimson clover hugged the roadside. The invasive Chinese Privet with its beautiful white flowers and sweet scent covered the landscape.
Two days ago, driving through Kentucky and Illinois the changing sky mesmerized me. Billowing white and pewter clouds with interstices of blue over such a flat landscape. Yesterday, heading into Iowa, I noticed the darting red wing blackbirds, and a pheasant hurrying across the exit. Blooming cottonwood trees, tumble down shacks, maroon barns with rusting roofs, verdant, fallow and newly planted cornfields, adorned the countryside. The scent of newly mowed grass and of a wood fire moved with me through the landscape. Really, imagine riding through all of this. Who could get bored? You only get bored if you’re flicking through radio channels or you’re in a hurry to get somewhere. Sometimes our destination can seem more important than our journey. The imagined future more valuable than the present. We can view the countryside as bland, a thing to hurry through rather than the simple, yet majestic unveiling of the collision between the here and the now; the only true intersection where you can meet yourself or the God you believe in.
The countryside here, or the one of our everyday lives; it doesn’t matter. The realization makes me want to shout, to sing, maybe do a little Irish jig. Okay, but not all three at once, and not when I’m riding.