Regretfully I ride

Day 13, Burlington Campground to Standish Hickey State Park, 46 miles

Answer to the question at the end of the last post: no, haven’t learned yet. Yet.

Waking texts do not resolve my fears. My response: more anxiety, more texts. And to this, she seems to withdraw further. Seems to, I say, because in the absence of real communication, only these furtive electronic words, I cannot tell. Anything.

And, as my wise counselor told me, many times, when I feel this gap, this loss of connection, the shadow often rushes in to fill the void. And the shadow has so much to fill it with. Sadly, what comes are the projections of loss, of grief, of fear, of past traumas and hurts.

Rather than face what is actually here: a loss of connection. To face such loss maturely, would be to grieve. To allow my heart to ache, my heart to break. And thus my mind to wake.

Which does happens. I do wake up. But only after the text messages were sent, adding to the stresses my beloved is already facing. Apologies follow, but the damage to trust has been already occurred. More pain added to the original pains, for me, for her.

I set out late from camp, reeling at this rerun of the patterns. I stop at the Daily Grind in Myers Flat, note the prominent sign “$5 Charge for Whining”. Oh, my bill is adding up.

So I ride on. I ride over these so familiar miles, thinking of how many of my tours I’ve thus ridden in a similar emotional state: mind clouded by fears, old traumas, regrets, desires. The frustration of the isolation of my life.

And the miles on the road begin to work their medicine. For the simplicity of the task, to ride, to pedal, to push forward, clears away both the neurotoxins of anxiety and the obsessive thinking that produces the anxieties in the first place.

Avenue of the Giants, just a few more miles, then many more on the freeway. Stopping in Garberville, meeting Kyle, Nate and Erin at Ray’s Market. Then just a few more miles, pushing past the Richardson Grove, then the four hills which end the day. Up, up, higher, Climbing to a thousand feet, the base from which tomorrow’s accent of Leggett Hill will begin.

The hiker/biker campsite at Standish Hickey is the sight of a reunion of this traveling community of cyclists. We all head over to the Peg House, burgers, live music tonight, sharing stories over the table. This is the medicine I need too, to connect with companions, even as I feel like withdrawing, still.

A call with Robert, printing payroll from afar. Then back to camp. At last the day is over. But still no contact with my beloved. Have I ruined things between us, again? I allow this possibility. And trust that even such pain, the loss of relationship, can be overcome.

One more text, what I should have sent before: I miss you. And wish you a beautiful evening.

Goodnight, my beloved. And to all our beloveds: peace, healing, love.

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