“Close Your Eyes, Look Deep In Your Soul. Step Outside Yourself, And Let Your Mind Go.”
One of the things that I love to do when motorcycling is go into the desert.
The feel of the heat of the sun beating down on me, the whip of the wind against my face, the vibration of the machine beneath me.
No radio on, nothing but the sound of the wind in my ears, the hum of the road, and the rumble of the engine.
Nothing to do but ride, be in the moment, and be alone with my thoughts when they show up.
When you are riding a motorcycle, you have no problems, at least for the time that you are riding. Whatever troubles and concerns you have back in the world, melt and fade away.
There’s nothing quite as exquisite as a woman behind you, tightening her grip around your waist with her hands and her hips as you twist down on the throttle and give the iron horse more juice.
There’s nothing as exquisite as riding into the desert. Yes I know that sounds cliche, but the cliche exists for a reason. There really is nothing like riding into the desert. The smell of the hot tarmac, the sand grit blowing against you, stinging, even the occasional bug that kills itself against your goggles as you fly towards it at close to 100 miles per hour. Even spitting sand out of your mouth when you stop for gas or a stretch is a small blessing in and of itself. It may not be a pretty picture or thought, but it’s a blessing nonetheless. Why is that? Why, it’s because you are still alive! Alive.
Alive and in the desert. Where the desert doesn’t know your name, doesn’t care where you came from, doesn’t care where you are going, and doesn’t care if you stay or go. The desert doesn’t care about you or your existence. In fact, the desert is merciless enough, that if you aren’t careful, you may never leave it’s embrace. Just another set of sun-bleached bones slowly sinking into the sand and the earth if you don’t watch your back.
The heat can and will blister your skin lobster red and peel it right off of you in a New York minute. The heat will sap you of all your energy, all your water, your will, if you let it.
But the sights you will see! The sounds that you will hear when you shut the bike down, take a deep, deep breath, breathing in the desert, her scent; the sounds come forth! Sounds you will never hear in the concrete jungle. The sound of silence. The sound of a million tiny things, living their million tiny lives, struggling against the desert itself for their own survival.
The desert is a harsh mistress, but she is beyond beautiful. Look carefully around you and what do you see?
Life in abundance! A million life forms growing and thriving, in spite of the desert. But the desert gives as well as it takes. You just have to know where to look and to look for it.
There! 50 feet away is a spot where there is water. You can tell because of the sparse vegetation that is growing there. Huddled around the hidden water like players on a field in a huddle before a play.
Over in the other direction is food if you dig but a little bit. You did bring a knife didn’t you?
And the nights in the desert. Oh the nights! The stars! The galaxies that reveal themselves in all their majesty! Millions upon billions of them! You never see them in the light pollution of the city.
How small and insignificant we are compared to the vastness above us. How utterly and infinitely tiny we are! No bigger than the grain of sand that we pick out of our ears or hair! And yet, here we are!
Riding season is coming up again, it’s time to get the Machine out of the garage, wake her from her slumber, give her a bath and a wax, and go to the desert.
The desert has a siren song, and it’s calling my name, calling to me.
Beckoning. Come, come, come….