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Took three days and a minor personal earthquake to leave the house, finally. Okay, maybe it wasn’t so minor. Perhaps a five on the Richter scale, not that I’d know, given I’m no expert on measuring disturbances of the earth, or the mind, for that matter.

And what did I do? Nothing incidental of course. Not just going to my local coffee shop again, or to the movies. Too easy to zone out with such activities, and continue my non-participation in life, under the guise of actually being ‘out there’.

So, having prepped my bike with a new (and actually useful) bike computer and extra tail lights, I took off for a long ride. Been missing out on that a bit.

Since the bike became my substitute car, I’ve been quite utilitarian with my cycling and decided it was a good day to break that habit. Still, it took me til at least three in the afternoon to make it out the door.

Another quirky factoid about this writer – tends to take me absolutely ages to discover stuff that’s been right under my nose all along. How I’ve never been on some of the stunningly beautiful bike trails I rode yesterday (right beside the sunnily autumnal and picturesque Port Philip Bay), I’ll never know.

Maybe because some of them are quite new. Wasn’t til the homeward-bound leg, I recognised a place I’d spent a lot of time as a kid… the yacht club where my dad sailed, and where, for a time as a child I sailed sabots. That beach looked so different now! So much… smaller, and the boardwalk with the cycle path never used to be there, clearly… and they’ve shored up part of the beach with more rocks, and there’s some wetland preservation going on. Geez, the yacht club looks tiny! The little bit of flat water (thanks to the L-shaped pier), where I used to sail… those boats we sailed must’ve been tiny, too!

But this was the return journey and by then, I’d woken up a little, or a lot.

I’d already begun to notice in practice (not theory), something I know, or knew but forgot (more likely). That, for me at least, yoga isn’t enough. Sure, it works on my body and mind on many levels, but I need the fire of intensely rigorous movement to bring me back to life.

Something about the way it informs the body. Sends off instructions that explain yes, this is why we are alive, and this is what we do. When I’m riding or running, I know what I need, because actually, I’m out of the way and instead it’s Presence and Self calling the shots (a much wider view than my day to day ideas).

Ah… relief… and understanding. That even if this life can’t be anything other than the tiniest of bleeps on the landscape of time, there is a way of going about it that feels more right than not. By right I mean of course, something that makes sense to me personally, on a fundamental level…

The photo above (taken on my mobile phone) is the halfway point, where I turned around to head back home. But not before I’d stopped for things I’ve not allowed myself much of in recent times… enjoyment… sitting in the afternoon sun for no other reason than just because…

Right near where I’d stopped, was a young guy with his eyes closed and firmly positioned iPod earphones… in a wheelchair, one of his arms all bandaged up. Someone I guess, had helped him get to where he was, but they weren’t around, and he was alone and basking in the sun, perhaps asleep.

And this silent injured man told me many things. That while we may be broken (physically or mentally) we can regenerate. If nothing else works, then rely on the sun, rely on nature… take refuge in those things around you that don’t and can’t cause you any pain.

For instead, there’s beauty (thank you Jaliya, for your wonderful words), and in that beauty is some kind of fundamental state of love, offering healing with every inhale and exhale… a re-focusing of one’s energy to an upward, ever expanding spiral instead of the other one, onerously down and less-than.

I’m not out of the darkness yet, but I think I’ve found a kind of pathway… seems maybe to be leading somewhere I’d like to go… and I’ll go further next time!

~Svasti

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