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For a decade in my childhood I had the same bicycle.
But how it changed over the years. It became increasingly more battered. Bike polo, ramp jumping, stream crossing, beast of burden (3 kids on one bike), races on rickety roads, parts removed and added, and then after ten years, it’s ultimate demise, run over by a car (I left it in the driveway).
With all the changes it was, in one way or another still the same bike and a metaphor for life. To quote Buddhist writer Bonnie Myotai Treace,
“It’s easy to identify with all the places we’ve been hurt and abandoned, but can we identify with the timeless wholeness that weathers every abuse, every condition? If we can’t, we may spend this life protecting ourselves and never really risk living”
Now at this stage of life I ask again the more important questions like, “Who am I right now? What is my task?”
It is certainly not to be attached to either “look what I’ve done” or “look how I have screwed up”
What I really am, my true task in life, despite my not seeing it at times, it is still what it always was,
Find my timeless wholeness and really risk living.
“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.
You must travel it by yourself.
It is not far. It is within reach.
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know.
Perhaps it is everywhere – on water and land.”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass