"It never gets any easier. You just go faster." ---Greg Lemond
"Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades." --- Eddy Merckx
"You drive like shit." ---The Car Whisperer


The traveler

I have been away for as long as I can remember.

Born into wayfaring. Into shimmering blacktop and dust clouds. Towards mountains, deserts, lonely streets, filthy hotel rooms, and dangerous areas of town.

Parched and alone, relieved only by the shade of menacing fingers; dark woods teeming with teeth and claws; or the fleeting coolness of a soda from a dirty bodega. Then back I go to oppressive heat and unfriendly glares.

I watch movies alone to sooth and distract my mind.

I eat furtively and quietly in diners and on park benches. On lonesome trails and crowded sidewalks.

I sleep. Awaken. Pack up, and move on.

Always heading toward home without ever having known its warm embrace and soothing whisper. Never smelled dewy grass that was my own, waved to neighbors known for years, or shared a beer with a trusted friend. Sat down to meal cooked by all, smiles and loving eyes comingling at the center of the table, framed by friendly light from faded, old lamps.

On a sunny morning, I stepped out of the trees; leaving weariness – and wariness – behind, into a field of flowers that was strange and new, yet immediately familiar. The outline of town lay just beyond, beckoning my tired feet and aching body and worn mind.

The scent of lilac, honeysuckle and wildflowers overwhelmed me, and sat, and then lay, falling back loosely amidst the stalks and thorns and petals and grass, as they brushed against me in the morning breeze, scratching my skin satisfyingly. I let bumblebees buzz around my head and ladybugs crawl on me.

I breathed in deeply the sweet aroma of home, filling my body – as through drawing in water – from my hips up to my shoulders. Then I let out a long sigh.

Sunlight in my eye awakens me. It’s late afternoon, the sun has traveled across the sky. I stand up and stretch. I pick a handful of flowers, especially the fragrant and dewy lilac.

Then, cinching the straps on my heavy pack, I bounce a bit on my heels before heading back into the forest and away from this place, flowers in my hand.

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