Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Road to Green Gulch

There are many versions of this story that I have heard over the years - Linda Ruth tells a funny one about oryoki - but here is mine from today:
It was a beautiful morning, and I was riding to Green Gulch for the Coming of Age program; I would have ordinarily wished to be riding further, but was perfectly happy where I was, absorbing and enjoying the energy around me, getting over the bridge with the early sun, feeling like I could feel the benefits of yesterday's sitting in my state of mind and body; I wasn't rushing, I felt relaxed and ready for whatever was going to happen with the group of boys later on.
On the descent of Highway One above Green Gulch, I could see the sea, it was warm and quiet, and having just ridden the same route on Thursday I was thinking, 'I know this road really well these days', and I was enjoying taking the tight corners at speed. It was right after a thought of 'yep, going very nicely' that I spaced out for a moment, and then realised I was not going to make the next corner. There was a distinct thought 'I'm going to hit the rocks on the side of the road', but I did not hit the rocks. I think I came off the pavement and then jumped back onto it; there was a sharp noise, a distinct thought 'I'm going to go over', and I had a vision of sliding along the road on one side with the bike on top of me, but I did not fall over. My back wheel, the cause of the noise, had buckled and jammed right against the frame, so I very quickly came sliding and wobbling to a halt in the middle of the road; there was no traffic around, thankfully.
When I saw what had happened to the wheel, I shouldered the bike and walked the last few hundred yards to the driveway entrance - I could not have asked for this to happen at a more auspicious place. I didn't feel any real shock after the incident, and was greatly heartened by the fact that a couple of passing motorists stopped to check on my well-being and if I needed any assistance.
Having walked down and got changed, I met Sarah and Michaela, getting ready for the girl's group, who asked, 'did you bike over?.... are you okay? - you don't look okay...'
So I told the story, and actually I felt relieved that many things had turned out just the way they had and not any worse, and I was fully prepared to own the fact that my own smugness had been almost entirely responsible for the whole thing; the only down-sides I could see were that I wouldn't get to ride back to the city afterwards, which I had greatly looking forward to, and that I would have to buy some new wheels, which I had already know I would have to do anyway; I just don't know if I can afford them until we get paid again.


LWA said...

Good lord! I'm glad you didn't crash and am glad you weren't hurt.

kevin said...

In the fifteen-twenty years that I've been cooking, I've never really cut myself. I've had close calls but nothing worth putting the knife down to seek aid.

So within twenty minutes of arriving at the HZC to cook breakfast Friday morning, I disrespect my knife by not giving it my full attention and slice right across my fingertip.

All I could think was, "of all the places for this to happen... how could I let my mind drift here?"

I've always said that whatever doesn't kill you makes for an interesting story later, but I guess it goes to show that the painful lessons are the ones that stick with us the longest.

Thanks for sharing the story so that we all can benefit from your lesson.

p.s. speaking of Green Gulch, Arlene has been a blast. I don't know if when people told me I'd enjoy her company they were being specific to me, or in general, but I have for sure. We've had a lot of fun in the kitchen so far and I'm looking forward to dokusan tomorrow before we have to return her home.