Suspended between wistfulness and anticipation
Between Italy, so recently and rapidly behind us and then bit by bit, backwards through the journey, Greece, Sicily, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Sweden, Denmark ……. and England. England, finally, now again in front of me. France is playing the role of buffer, or ‘last frontier’!
The pang of leaving the most recent love affair with Greece with that familiar question of when/if/how to go back.
The joyful anticipation of all things familiar in Britain and being together with family and friends.
It is such a strong and divergent pull of feelings.
Reminds me, at least kinaesthetically, of the moment in the first movement of Opus 110 when the left hand trills rumble down towards the bass and the right hand in opposition takes arching leaps towards the heavens….. I am stretched out and there is a tension as I sit in the middle. It is also, I am sure, an opening, if I wait and stop resisting or trying too hard to work it all out.
Somehow crossing the border high up on the pass from Italy into France, was a trigger for these feelings to surface for a while. The magnificent mountains, summer meadows so full of abundance and the pale green glacial rivers far below was powerful enough!
And the sight of so many cyclists, coming and going… mostly unladen, lucky things, also brought waves of roadside “I am deprived” which had us roaring with laughter.
No, I am privileged! I am in the middle of a collaborative section of the trip… I don’t have to arrive all of a sudden in an untidy emotional heap after an obscenely fast plane ride which would give me no time at all to adjust. Instead, as a passenger with Dina in her marvelous jeep, I have gratefully notched up several miles an hour faster; but the ride is still gradual, relatively speaking… as we have wombled along, and the colours and variety of each region are not flashing by in such a blur that I can’t relish them. What a luxury to travel along routes that might be possible by bike one day, from the comfort of a passenger seat!
The change in climate from hot and dry with cloudless skies to cooler, stormy and extremely wet, another step towards home turf. Not as trying as I had imagined! How dreadful to get on a plane in the sweltering heat and just a few hours later, to walk off into a cold downpour!!
Also, the experience of being alongside someone else for these last several days after so much time of totally pleasing myself and having only my own agenda, is a most edifying experience! It will surely stand me in good stead for being back home and for getting used to ‘people’ in an everyday sense.
Moving to the ‘next’ country has brought a big sense of occasion each time during my travels. The other day was no exception, except that it all happened so quickly, and in the circumstances I did not pay quite so much attention to the moment as I might have done in my more usual solitary riding.
Then in my little tent, with the rain pattering on the thin fabric outside, I am wide awake in more than one way.
With all these ideas wafting around based on the past and the future. The exquisite memories to look back on, and the future rolling so quickly towards me, this brings me full circle back to ‘The Now’
Amongst my kit list under the heading, ‘vital nourishment’ are several hours of recorded talks by Ekart Tolle, author of ‘The Power of Now’.
For the times when I haven’t been able to sleep, or when my equilibrium, is disturbed, these talks have been my immediate haven; just as, ‘ The Power of Now’ came my way at a time of loss and enabled me to taken shelter in the exquisite blessing of the present moment.
We have come a long way… This morning, I am sitting on the banks of the powerful and fast flowing Loire
The pigeons are busy and the birdsong is a riot!
The journey of Beethoven by Bike has had… no, HAS so much to do with staying in the present. ….. with the unknown, and the regular experience of being way, way beyond myself. Throughout this last year, ( 332 days to be precise!) situations have presented themselves to me that I could not possibly have imagined or planned from the beginning and which have provided so beautifully for me and the intention of sharing Beethoven’s music. It has been simply a matter of keeping the ‘vision’ up in front.
Dina has asked me if I believe in fate. I don’t think I do really… although I wouldn’t really know how I would define it… just a word, and words can rarely do justice to meaning.
What I feel I do have strong evidence for, now, is that being truly aligned with one’s goals gives the Universe the opportunity to open up and collaborate in all sorts of unexpected ways. Hence the consistent feeling that great good chance just seems to drop, with precise and perfect timing into my lap with absolutely no effort on my part.
My dear friend Beverley has said many times to me “well, you have taken the step and put yourself in the path….. ”
Yes, I have to agree with this. It was a conscious decision to move from the comfort of my familiar life into the unknown; a big adventure! The rest just kept/keeps falling into place!
If I have a message of any sort, it is really to say if you believe in something and you want to do something about it then don’t waste time… the Universe is ready for you and just waiting for you to say the word.
Trust me. You CAN trust. You might be surprised because what you get might not seem to fit immediately, but it is very obvious to me now, that these ‘travel angels’ as I call them, know better than I do, what is for the best.