2007/10/25

Being Present

I frequently ride my bicycle into town about 12 miles (7 miles) and usually travel via a straight, level road which lets me get where I'm going in about 35 or 40 minutes. The road isn't terribly scenic however, as it lined with trees, businesses, and homes, so sometimes I take a parallel route that goes through open fields and has less traffic. The other day, after finishing grocery shopping in town, I decided to take a third route home by riding along lake Kitaura. Though it adds ten to minutes or so to my trip, and requires a bit of a hill climb, the scenery can be well worth it and allows me to just "be present" and enjoy it.

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A grey heron sweeps over lake Kitaura on two meter wings.


As people whiz past in their stereo sound filled, climate controlled automobile "bubbles", I feel fortunate to have the time to cycle, to exchange a smile, nod or greeting with other people - a farmer in a rice paddy, someone fishing, another cyclist; to feel the air at whatever temperature it is, hear the insects, birds, or splashes of fish, or stop to watch a hawk or heron show what millions of years of practice has done to perfect a mastery of flight we humans can only dream of.

20 comments:

Robin said...

yes, doing something routine in a different manner always bring a new joy.

In meditation, we sometimes start with the out breath instead of the in breath..

out in out in...

quite interesting.

Pandabonium said...

Robin - Thanks for the comment. Hmm, I suppose it would help to focus by doing it differently. I like the writings of Thich Nhat Hanh regarding mindfulness and breathing.

Don Snabulus said...

That is a beautiful picture of a majestic bird. Chalk that one up as a good ride.

Martin J Frid said...

Two meter wing span... Just what I need! Thanks for the narrative too.

Pandabonium said...

Snabby - I never tire of watching birds in flight.

Martin - spread them and fly!

QUASAR9 said...

cool and graceful
floating effortlessly
just above the waters
on wide-span of wings

If only life were always like that
simply effotless flight in the wind

Pandabonium said...

Quasar9 - thanks for the poem. I like it :^)

Reena said...

You are lucky to be staying close to a place like this.

ladybug said...

Sorry, been outta communique while doing the whole "Halloween uber-party" thang...

Anyhow, I love cranes...it's so great you got to see one on a bike (so you can take the time to enjoy the sight) instead of in car, where you kind of go,"Oh look! There's a..." and it's gone.

Pandabonium said...

Reena - yes, I am. Hope all is well with you.

Ladybug - I had to laugh when I read your comment as just the other day, K and I were in the car and she spotted a bird and that is exactly the way it went...by the time I looked it was out of view.

Swinebread said...

I have similar experiences when I walk to work. I’ve seen deer, coyotes and all manner of birds. It’s fairly urban were I live so If I didn’t walk I wouldn’t expect to see them at all.

Olivia said...

I supposed a bicycle ride is more of a pleasure when it's not your sole mode of transport. When you can leave the car behind, knowing it will be there when you need it, and get on that bike and go exploring - with a constant open window on the world around you.

Pandabonium said...

Swinebread - cool - urban coyotes! watch out for those, they are very mischieveous in Hopi folklore. Like the new picture.

Olivia - I don't have a car, or drive. K has a car, but doesn't really need it, though it is certainly convenient. Out here the average is 1.3 cars per household. In Tokyo only half the households own a car. Ironically perhaps, out here is where the scenic rides are.

Happysurfer said...

Envy! Envy! We don't have bicycle lanes here so cycling is risky on our roads. Cycling is confined to the suburbs and for leisure, like in the evenings for some exercise but it's mostly kids who cycle.

Pandabonium said...

Happysurfer - no worries! As the price of gasoline continues to climb due to the strains on fossil fuel resources, more and more people will be on bicycles demanding improvements for them. There will also be fewer cars on the road. ;^)

QUASAR9 said...

It's all about the 'here' & 'now'

Lrong said...

'stereo sound filled, climate controlled automobile "bubbles"'...

What an apt way to describe this... and today, I rode in one...

Pandabonium said...

Quasar9 - yes, indeed. Awareness.

Lrong - thanks. I rode in one today as well - to Mito City and back with Kimie to apply for a visa extension. Not so bad with someone to talk to. I've heard commuting alone by car described as "self imposed solitary confinement".

Robin said...

Yes, Thich Nhat Hanh is one of favorite too.

Nowadays, I downloaded MP3 dharma talks from Ajahn Brahm and played them in my car, instead of hearing the radio and CDs.

http://www.bswa.org/modules/mydownloads/

Driving and learning.

Pandabonium said...

Robin - thank you very much for the link. I'll give a listen. Born as human beings we can hear the Dharma.