Today was ridiculously hot and muggy. We’d been needing rain pretty badly over the last couple of months and it seemed that every time we’d get some in our area, it would miss us completely. Well, it made up for it the last couple of days with showers off and on culminating in a downpour yesterday. So when we got up this morning, all that moisture had settled into the air reminding me of summer back home. We don’t muggy heat like that often, but I remember it as a constant part of summer growing up in south Mississippi. And people can’t understand why I don’t want to move back! Still, despite that, we loaded up and we headed out on the bike.
Now, if you’ve been paying attention lately, you’ve likely noticed a distinct lack of regular rides, especially for two people who were riding hundreds of miles a week. Last week, I was thrilled to get a nice 30 minute ride; today, we took a proper ride, two hours from leaving Monty Town and getting back. That muggy horrendousness? Heaven at 50 miles an hour! Rain threatened most of the way, and we did get sprinkles a couple of times, but we mostly avoided the rain – at one point coming into town not long after an obvious downpour that had other vehicles kicking up quite a spray. Yet we stayed dry and I was able to get some footage for a new video. (and I finally worked up the nerve to take my HandyCam out on the bike – I’m going to start doing that every time!)
Y’all, I can’t explain to you how much we both needed today. Riding has become so important to the two of us, so quickly, that it is unreal. I’d never been riding on a motorized, two-wheeled vehicle ever before in my life. And then, less than a year ago (though we’re coming up pretty quickly on a year) we got Buttercup and my entire outlook changed. Riding has always been a joy to me and it’s always been something that my husband and I share a love and passion for. But riding a bike is completely different, feeds my soul in a completely different way. And, strangely, Joshimus Rex and I connect more on the bike than we do just sitting on the couch together. It shouldn’t make sense – we don’t have com units yet (yeah yeah, we’re still working on it), so we can’t talk to one another on the bike. But we still communicate – a tap on the thigh, the brush of his hand against my calf, a full body hug (as Sir Joshimus calls them) – and maybe it’s because we can’t speak that we have to be so in tune with one another. Balance and counterbalance, both aware of our surroundings and the other drivers on the road (many of whom don’t respect our place on the road, as we’re constantly reminded).
There is always that initial flush of excitement for me when we head out, adrenaline and joy. But once we settle into the ride – part of the reason I crave those long rides – I’m washed in a feeling of pure peace. I don’t know how to explain it but that between the hum of the engine, the rush of the wind on my face, and the connection to my husband as we silently communicate is a place of total contentment. My Gods whisper softly to me into a blessed calm for a mind that is usually rushing 90 to nothing with every useless tidbit that I am unable to file away without carefully examining first. Few are the times when my mind quiets, but it seems that on the bike, following the winding trail of a back country road, is one of them.
Two of my Gods are what I refer to as Primordial deities; Danu and Lir are both presences that seem almost too vast for a description as simple as a God(dess), and while Their influences and, yes, even voices are very real and present for me, Their interactions are different from my other Gods. With An’Dagda, Brighid, and Manannan, it’s more like talking to and interacting with actual people (possibly why it is so confusing as to whether They are actually Gods or simply people who have been deified – it’s hard for some to imagine that a God can both be divine and so completely accessible and human). And it seems that those three are the ones that I most closely connect to when I’m riding. An’Dagda is like a presence in the back of my mind, grinning at the thrill of it all. Brighid likes to reach down and light the fire of inspiration in my mind and heart; the fire of inspiration has always been our first connection, though as I grow to know Her better, I see so many more. But I think it is Manannan that I feel most surely when we ride. I have an interesting relationship with Manannan, one that makes me decided uncomfortable sometimes, one that pushes those rawest wounds in my mind and heart for my own good. Sometimes I don’t like Him very much, and yet I do. I think (He has indicated) that the reason I feel so close to Him when we ride is because travel is His (and I always pray for His protection when we travel, especially long distances). Makes sense. And it’s one of the few times that I feel close to Him and at peace at the same time – my turbulent God rarely leaves me feeling peaceful.
So today my soul has been revived. And I think the Dread Pirate Joshimus feels the same way. It’s something that we both need and I hate that we won’t be able to take Buttercup with us next week when we go to Texas. Maybe next time, if it’s before we buy a truck, we’ll be able to rent one for the trip. Maybe we’ll take her out when we get back, before we return to our regularly scheduled program.(We leave for vacation on Tuesday – first Mississippi to see my parents and then on to Texas! I don’t know if I’ll be blogging again before we go, but I will schedule a Musical Monday and I’ll be cutting together a video for Wordless Wednesday. If you subscribe to my YouTube channel, you’ll be able to view the video early. Otherwise, it’ll be here this Wednesday, even though we’ll be on the road to Texas. Have a great week!)