Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Lost Files: The Motorcycle

Labor Day, 2010

Several days ago, I had the realization that, somewhere along this way, I've gotten off track.

It was Labor Day evening. We'd just spent an hour or so at the park, letting the kids watch the rocket that my Dad built blast off.  I took pictures with my mom's camera and the slowly setting sun made for simply gorgeous shots. They were mostly blurry and grainy because she just has a point-and-shoot, but the light could not be passed up.  Taking pictures has quickly become one of my life's loves. John and I then took the truck back to his shop, so that he could retrive his motorcyle.

Motorcycle rides at sunset are my favorite. The traffic on our quiet country roads is nearly non-existent  and the entire Earth seems more serene at that time.  The sights and sounds are relaxing, the hum of rubber on asphalt soothing, and the small tingling of the Guardian bell comforting, sounding even over the roar of the engine.  The sun has begun it's multi-colored descent, spilling swatches of orange, red, and pink across the western sky. Hues of purple backlight clouds, giving them sharp edges. Night is coming.

The road that streches between John's shop and home is 12 miles of country. Fields of crops, wheat-colored grasses reaching higher than our heads for the sun.  Freshly planted pine and pecan trees dot small areas of the landscape, as do an occasional house or two.  Places where you can see for miles, it seems. Acres of green crop, rolling into hills, then flattening into valley. Areas of dense forest huddle tightly between fields, hang over the road and the standing-water creeks that have gathered below.  Field becomes marsh. Crop becomes lawn.

And the smells. The smells are fascinating. Deep earthy scents where the land has become damp with dark soil and mulch. Fresh, crisp and green where rows of bushy soybean line the side of the road. Prickly pine and sweet honeysuckle, the wind carries them all. So close, in the open air, I feel like I can reach out and touch them. So natural, I want to lay open in the thick grass of a field and breathe in God's world.

The air changes, too, as we ride. Where the land is flat and open on both sides, the air is warm and thick, like the best blanket you've just pulled out for fall. It's comforting, like the first warm touches of spring after a long winter, like wrapping in a sweater that smells like home.  But, then, when the shadows creep in and the trees hang over the road, the air cools instantly. It's a breathy cool, not crisp like Fall, but dank and wet and shivery. As we cross over the creek and marsh and water puddled in damp earth, it nearly cuts to the bone. It's harsh and unrelenting and feels like bony fingers reaching, grasping.  In seconds, though, it is over, and the next field brings back the warmth like a blessing.

I relish every second.

My eyes took it in. My heart took it in, and for a moment, all I wanted in the world was my camera. I wanted to capture those moments, those feelings, those settings. I felt as close to nature and to God as ever, and I didn't want to lose not even a breath of it.  My wind wandered and I giggled at the thought  of riding on the back of a morotcycle at 60mph with a camera in hand. And then, it came to me. I HAD captured it all.

All the while as we rode, with each passing touch of scenery, each smell, each wisp of wind and hair on my cheek, that the thoughts had splled across the corridors of my brain, each emotion, each feeling in glorious, breathy, beauful words. 

My whole life has been a story of words. 

Not pictures, not painstakingly taken photographs. Words.

I don't think or breathe or feel or ache or heal in pictures. No photograph, no matter how much I fiddle with a camera I don't understand to get the absolute most perfect shot,  can rival the sheer weightiness of words. 

I've been fooling myself all along.

And the words are coming. Again. Finally.

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