I remember back in the early to mid eighties when I worked at the Jefferson Times newspaper, I had to come up with editorial and feature ideas for the twice a week publication on a very “regular” basis. I would often read the Winston-Salem Journal to get story leads in order to put a local flavor to them—what resulted was uniquely mine but the ideas were sort of second hand. And the great part is that nobody seemed to know I did this and I really feel that if they did, they didn’t care one way or the other. Newspapers are like that—in one eye and out the other and then we pile them up and take them to the re-cycle bin every so often.
It was an interesting time—one in which I never thought I would be reminiscing over almost 25 years later. But that is like a lot of our lives—we live them day by day and often go years without really taking the time to evaluate where we have been and where we are headed. As if any of this really matters—it is what it is, as some would say.
Yet we find ourselves several years down the road in our ride and begin to wonder how long it will last and have we made the most of it and all the other thoughts that come to mind on a lazy winter evening.
All that to say this: it is late January in the mountains of North Carolina and I am ready for the winter to be over. I am sure the ski resorts are not ready but I am. If I never see snow again I think that I would not miss it. I have burned almost two loads of wood since November and hope I have enough left to see me through until the balmy days of spring—i doubt it will last but one can always hope. It is the same every year—but different. Sandi and I started the winter reading books every night instead of watching the television and really enjoying the time shift into slow winter mode.
It wasn’t until later that I realized that I had added a few pounds of winter-weight primarily because the weather had not been conducive to taking bike rides like last year. When you are used to getting into one size of pants and your body is sending you a different signal, it’s hard to adjust. For those of you who have never experienced mountain winter weather, you can have all that I can send you and then some more—I have seen enough to last a lifetime.
I began to chronicle my thoughts blog-wise over a year ago after leaving a church I had been a part of for over 22 years. I had lots of thoughts that I needed to express and this was the medium that I chose. I am here to say that I don’t have any fewer thoughts today that I had way back when, but getting them out is a little more protracted that before. It is almost like my mind went on a writer’s strike of its own and since it is not worried whether or not it finishes a season or not for syndication, I am left with what I have. I may finish 15 episodes this month or I may only submit five—that’s the way it is and I can’t make it be what I doesn’t want.
I could talk about Euclid and his postulates which state:
1. A straight line segment can be drawn by joining any two points.
2. A straight line segment can be extended indefinitely in a straight line.
3. Given a straight line segment, a circle can be drawn using the segment as radius and one endpoint as center.
4. All right angles are equal.
5. If two lines are drawn which intersect a third in such a way that the sum of the inner angles on one side is less than two right angles, then the two lines inevitably must intersect each other on that side if extended far enough.
Or I could mention the fact that Greek thinking is linear and perhaps has gotten us into a mess that we don’t really want to be in. They had the world figured out and fashioned in their own image—so much so that the logical thinking we use everyday was formulated by them.
Or I could just say that the winter is long and my mind has gone into hibernation and I will be a lot more regular blog-wise in the spring.
Yesterday I left work early and went for a 22 mile bike ride with my buddy Glen. It was 52 degrees when we began and got progressively colder as the afternoon floated by. But it was good to be out and about if you know what I mean. I then came home, spent some quality time with my wife and went to bed early. I imagined my ride again as I felt my body tone down after a good workout—every vibration and bump in the road was like a poem re-read and written only to me. It won’t be long before I can be out and about in a more regular fashion—it will be a time to order seeds for the garden and get the tiller out of the storage shed.
In the midst of all the years that have been lived and have passed us by—it really is a joy to be alive and be looking for the long ride.