While temperatures have scorched the Midwest over the last couple of weeks, yesterdays 90 degree temperature seemed to offer enough respite for me to finally venture out on the motorcycle. And while still uncomfortably hot, with the added cooling effect of 50 miles per hour, the ride was reasonably enjoyable.
As I rode toward a nearby town to have some dinner, the temperature seemed to start dropping rapidly. The sky became more clouded over, and it actually began to feel cool. The sense of cool, damp air, gave rise to the strong suspicion that our long overdue rain was finally going to arrive. But being out on the bike when this storm hit, was not my idea of fun.
Having a choice to turn back and forfeit a nice meal of Chinese food, or proceeding on to dinner, I chose to brave it and go enjoy a nice meal. Proud of myself that fear did not prevent me from enjoying this moment.
After enjoying a relaxing and delicious meal, I left the restaurant and mounted the bike. Cooler temps and a grey sky were foreboding to say the least. But now there was no choice but to head home with high hopes of a storm free ride.
As I rode down the rode, I became aware that my mind had mad a strong attachment to the possibility of rain. And as much as I tried to let that go, and just enjoy the moment, my thoughts were clinging feverishly to what might be.
I became completely aware of how my mind was creating so much dissatisfaction based on fear, desire and aversion. And more importantly, how poorly I was managing this situation. It was as if the harder I tried to let it go, the stronger the thought became embedded in my consciousness.
I spent most of the time riding home with a lot of attention to what was happening. And I think I learned a few things on the way.
First of all, fear has no benefit to any of us. It is merely the illusions of what may or may not be, and in most cases, there is little we can do to avoid it. Secondarily, the harder we try to avoid these fears, the more footing we give to them. And it is only through practice and skillful observation that I believe we gain the wisdom to eliminate this self-created suffering.
The storm may hit any of our lives at anytime, and without warning or provocation. But this is truly the nature of this existence. And is it better to suffer now, just thinking of what may or may not happen – or simply enjoy this present moment with gratitude?
The end result of my ride home was that I arrived without garnering a drop of rain. But I certainly negated much of what could have been appreciated by simply being present on a lovely evening.
Do not waste your life my friends. Enjoy this moment. This is the only one you have.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.