As a baby boomer, I remember when we didn’t live in such a risk obsessed society. When there wasn’t printing on a dry cleaning bag that said “this is not a toy” (and yes we used it as a toy….and lived). When I could ride my bike (with the banana seat) without a helmet at top (one) speed trying to beat the ice cream/helms bakery man home to get money from Mom. When we drank water from a hose instead of a bottle. When face time was actually face time. When we used to fall asleep in front of the TV on Sunday nights watching The Wonderful World of Disney (or was it Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom?). When hashtag meant it was your turn to take a hit off the bong (I just passed it….for real). Those were the days.
When did it all get so complicated?
The Pacific Coast Highway trip had provided me with countless subtle priceless experiences and awakenings (and one big ghostly experience) which I still have available to relive when I want or need to. But they were mine alone. I needed something that wasn’t just mine if I was going to make my marriage work.
When I got home with my new outlook, I realized I couldn’t remember when the last time my hubby and I had done something just for the fun of it. I don’t mean a vacation or a weekend away or a ride in our boat fun.I mean spur of the moment, caution be damned, catch us if you can fun.
Had we ever?
Even my bucket list was safe. How could I ever hope to capture the thrill of that “just being alive ’cause it’s fun” feeling I had when I was a kid? I gave up on it, maybe it isn’t possible after we grow up and life gets mean, and hard, and heavy.
I tried not to think about it.
Isn’t it funny when we least expect it, when we aren’t looking for it or thinking about it, life just hands us what we need most? Hands us that freedom, that live in the moment, that pure joy, that breathlessness from being a part of something so big we are just happy to be along for the ride experience?
And this all happened on a whim. A simple letting go of the tether that kept me flying under the radar and I accidently soared. Something I never even dreamed of putting on my bucket list.
That was the moment I climbed onto the back of my hubby’s Harley Davidson motorcycle and went for the ride of my soul.
He’d always owned one, but I never rode it. Ever. I always considered it sort of an unwritten rule that we could never ride together because somebody needed to stay alive to raise the kids.
Kind of like the President and the Vice-President never riding in the same plane together rule.
Then came the day when I saw the Harley Davidson motorcycle sitting in the garage like an adventure waiting to happen while I was putting out the trash. Just like that I had that thought.
Who am I and where did that come from?
When I walked into the house and suggested to my husband that we take a ride on his Harley…I only wish I had taken a photo of the look on his face. It was like he had won the lottery and Pamela Anderson offer him a lap dance all rolled up in one.
I didn’t even own a helmet. What was I thinking? But it was too late to turn back, how could I crush the look he had on his face as he rushed around to get us ready before I could change my mind?
He offered me his safest helmet and I put on my ankle boots ’cause that’s the only thing I had to even slightly protect me from road rash. They were cute anyway.
Of course we can never do anything easy. As he rolled the Night Train Harley out of the garage, he hit the tire of the Jeep and broke off the passenger foot peg that had never before been put down.
My pride would not let me tell him that it was not possible to balance the weight of my left leg on a tiny toe hold since I had lost those thigh muscles somewhere around 1995.
So I said a prayer that ended with “let your will be done” to God and climbed on, swung my right leg over a very small piece of seat, and sat down on a cushion that was about half the size of my butt.
If he didn’t say anything about me taking up too much of the seat, I sure wasn’t going to. I’m not crazy.
Then it happened.
He started the engine and it roared to life and it took me with it. How long had it been since I had given everything up for adventure? When I’d given up safety and predictability for whatever was in the stars?
What had I been waiting for?
As we pulled out of the driveway and I held on for dear life…I was transported into a whole new world. A world I never knew existed.
Freedom from worry, freedom from the mundane, freedom from the future or the past. All 5 senses on overload at once.
I had never been so close to God, in a good way. He was telling me….”see, this world was always just yours, I have been waiting for you to notice.”
I held onto my husband with my hands, my long lost leg muscle was holding onto my left foot, and my soul was holding onto pure joy. How long had it been since I gave up control for a leap of faith?
We rode to the Hualapai Mountains in Arizona, but we could have rode to heaven and back for that matter. I didn’t care where we went. I was a little kid again and everything was new and it was all there for me.
My husband had given me a face mask to help keep my face warm, and when people looked at me from their safe little cars they saw a helmet and a face mask. That’s all. I was…ageless, timeless, and BAD ASS!
Steppenwolf…how did I not know how right you were?
We were all born to be wild…eventually.
Next time dear diary…Ricky and Lucy buy a Harley Davidson for two.