Bicycle Touring and Writing with Beginner’s Mind

by | Feb 19, 2022 | Bicycle Touring

When I am teetering, when I feel raw, vulnerable, on a precipice, I pedal my bicycle to reenter the world.  I know that life will meet me around a corner.

The stream moves with me. The wind teases. 

I meet a man standing on a corner, already supporting the next war; a preacher who prays for me in the middle of the road; a woman who shouts, “Come into my home, get out of the storm. There is safe harbor here.” 

The non-binary person sitting outside the shithole motel says, “Let me tell you how I ended up here, where the walls are oily, and the smell of decay never leaves you. I have a story of love and loss and, yes, new beginnings.”And they do. 

‘After the hurricane, the drought, the failed marriage, I came here,’ people say. ‘I met you, needing stiches. Here we both are from the land where the river begins. How did we end up in  M.I.S.S.I.S.S.I.P.P.I?

Life is full of serendipity. 

I bike, and write not to find something new but to understand and  breathe life and meaning into old stories newly discovered by me. Discovery is, after all, about embracing my ignorance. I must listen and try not to impose old perceptions on places that are new to me. That doesn’t mean not sharing my opinions. I need to be part of the conversation, add my voice.

It’s about respect.

Understanding that I don’t understand.

Embracing beginner’s mind.

Columbus did not have beginner’s mind. 

Move like a beginner, not an expert, not a conquerer. 

Write like one too.

That is my prayer.