Lost in the crowd

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Day 22: Layover at Harbin Hot Springs

Sleeping, resting, sunning, soaking.  All the things I love to do.  But a deep loneliness has taken hold, as I’ve felt in the past.  Being around others who are laughing, connecting, knowing each other, all seems to highlight my sense of being other, being a stranger, being alone.

I know that loneliness is part of my journey, as a solo cycling tourist.  The long empty miles feed my soul, give me insight and understanding.  I am also more likely to strike up a conversation, reach out to strangers, meet new friends.

But not today.  I just drift through the gatherings of people, chatting a little,  Maybe I’m choosing to stay reserved because of the burdens I am carrying, the grief at the loss of Zach, the fears of the unknown, the vast emptiness that has me in its grip.

I slept out under the stars last night, first time in as long as I can remember.  The stars were brilliant in the warm California sky.  A few shooting stars blazed then vanished.  I thought of how brief our lives are, in the cosmic scheme.  And how brilliant and beautiful and precious.

I ride to San Francisco tomorrow.  Maybe I’ll see some lovely people there, with flowers in their hair…

(Pictures are of Sun Ray Kelly’s magnificent cob temple at Harbin. For obvious reasons cameras are prohibited at the springs.)

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