26 June, 2001

Love Life

It's been a hectic few months. Some of the pace has been self-inflicted, some has been due to external events. For those reasons it's been a while since I added anything to the website. Ideally, I'd like to do so on a weekly basis. It's been over a month. My wife and I both work, and are also busy with our kids. No excuses though, I simply haven't made the time.

I was able, over the last weekend, to break away for a 3-day motorcycle trip with my 10-year old son. I've loved to ride motorcycles ever since I was a kid. I love the sensation of speed as the world rushes by. I feel more a part of things as I travel, compared to being in a car (or a "cage" as they are referred to by bikers). You can smell things, feel things, hear things, you normally wouldn't experience. When I'm riding I feel more alive. I'm more focused. Often, for me, it's a meditative, near spiritual experience.

My son and I traveled to Southern Utah, and were able to visit many wonderful, scenic areas, national parks and monuments, just the two of us. It was great to spend some father-son time, it was great to get out and ride the motorcycle, it was great to see so many beautiful places. We drove by rivers and lakes, mountains and valleys, beautiful green areas and beautiful barren areas. We went on a couple of spectacular hikes. I know I enjoyed the trip, and my son says he did too. I was proud of him, he's really growing up. Time goes by so quickly as you watch your kids grow.

On our return trip, traveling over a mountain pass in an isolated spot, at least 40 miles from the nearest town, I saw a peculiar sight. An older man, I'd guess at least 50, was walking towards us, pulling his possessions in a small cart behind him, carrying a large back-pack. Affixed to the top of the back-pack was a sign with large letters that read simply, "Love Life."

As we sped past him, a solitary motorcycle on an empty road, I waved, and he grinned broadly and gave a huge wave in return. It was a surreal, almost magical moment, time seemed to slow down for me. Would it have been the same if I'd been in a car? No. Would it have been the same if I hadn't had a wonderful weekend with my son? No. If we hadn't just experienced so many beautiful natural wonders? No. Everything came together in that one moment.

What was he doing there? He was miles from civilization, along an empty mountain road. He was far from the interstates, far from the busier side-roads. If he'd wanted to reach the greatest number of people, he would have picked a different, more popular route. I'd like to think he had a message for me, and in turn a message for all of you.

I have no idea who he is, or where he was travelling from or to. As I think back, I wonder if he was even really there. Could I have imagined the whole event?

Love life! That's what it's all about. No matter where you live, no matter what your occupation, no matter what your interests. Take the time to love life. Take the time to appreciate life. Love the hot summer days, love the cold winter nights. Love your work. Love your leisure. Love your family, love your friends, love your co-workers, even the really annoying ones.

For a few people, this attitude comes naturally. The rest of us have to work at it. As we do work at it, not only do we make ourselves happy, but we spread happiness to those around us. We've all known people who possess that quality. People who've inspired us. Perhaps we can inspire others to love life a little more each day, just as one solitary traveler inspired me.

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