November 30, 2012
The world has been shrinking before our eyes and beneath us for the past one hundred days. The road east through Canada seems to have continuously stretched its long loose arms onward, outward and upward so high that off in the distance, it is as though we were destined for the clouds, or sun, or stars.
Before we knew it, we had turned and twisted, risen and fallen, come and gone so many times that often we had forgotten where we’d been. Like lost children who had found their way into a stranger’s spellbinding embrace. Feeling nurtured and a sense of belonging once again, within each new day, new road or new face that smiled our way.
We’ve thrown thousands of miles to the wind, as we’ve moved forward through the past four months. Moments shared and memories not soon forgotten are now planted firmly behind us. Like new roots through old ways, still fresh and retraceable, in case we should need to find our way back again.
For back at this point isn’t far enough gone and we’ve yet to cut the chord that ties us to the familiar, comfortable life that we once knew. A comfort we will need to lose sight of in order to truly understand the grandness of this journey, like breadcrumbs to the wind.
The journey forward proves daily to be a double-edged sword when it comes to the lay of the land and the powers of mother nature. We are so small within it all and the embrace of a stranger, as hypnotic as it can be, still remains mysterious and unknown. The hands up, guards down approach can only last for so long before we are reminded of how vulnerable we truly are. And without hesitation or regard, around each bend, we can be released from the sense of safe keeping that has taken hold of us.
It was a Wednesday in late August and the rain was falling heavily. It was as if the world had turned upside down all around us and the ocean was hell bent on drowning us from above. Relentless. Through the downpour, minutes seem disguised as hours, with many just like to make up the day. Our bones were soaked and shivering. Seeing clearly for longer than two breaths was a luxury. Taking relief and shelter for the night only quickly reminded us beyond the safety of our foggy motel window, that there may be another day just like it to follow.
Instead the day began with a steady breeze that turned our heavy grey, into a gorgeous blue-bird day. But with the early morning clearing came a rude awakening. We were an hour in when the dawns gentle gust turned abruptly into a sharp roar. A great lioness’s piercing and discouraging tongue. Pushing us around for hours on end, like a bully in a school yard, testing our mettle and attempting to wear us down. There was angst in our hearts, for our bikes would be crossing late in the season, and by the time we headed back to the auto-port in Halifax, hurricanes Issac and Leslie were closing in fast. We feared these winds were just the beginning of what was to come.
With each burst our grip tightened. A daunting task but the only thing that kept us moving forward through the madness. Heads down in complete silence, we fought back with as much perseverence as we could muster. For we were determined to reach the destination we set out for that week, Newfoundland’s great Cape Spear, marking the furthest point east that we could ride before reaching the mightly Atlantic.
At this point, our hearts were held captive. We had come so far and wanted badly to stand before her. Perhaps in attempts to see, if we could see, all the way across. To maybe catch a glimpse of things to come. A feeling we can imagine that any world-discovering seeker, has felt before.
The mighty Atlantic, she is a puppet-master, one that is both cunning and wise; a skill-set known only to the fallen ships who have passed through time. And even with the pride we were feeling from the near 10,000km we’d come, this was a time for modesty. We looked on in amazement, for these had been hard days and we if anything, were grateful to have made it this far.
Inspired, we stood there before her, quietly as we paid our respects, both in our own ways. But it was clear to me that we were thinking the same thing as we were putting in our request for safe passage; permission to continue on in child-like wonder of what lay beyond the next valley, stream, or rolling hill. The same child-like nature, that on most days, leads the way.
And she is the way, after all, to the rest of the world.