Let me preface the rest of this - I have a wide variety of musical tastes ....
I started the ride by welling up in tears. The first song was Peter Gabriel - Wallflower. It's about being incarcerated - I think in war, but basically being held against ones will, and the physical and mental cost, and a message to hold on. I spoke of recovery at a prison earlier this week, my first time ever speaking ... locked up with about two dozen long term convicts, maximum security. I thought of them, their struggles, and said a little prayer for them to 'hold on'.
Then Garth Brooks comes on and is reminding me to tell those that you love - to do so, say I love you, for tomorrow may never come. Morbid thought, typical dramatic Country western, how that got into my playlist I don't know, but it is great advice that I will follow.
Then STYX, Fooling Yourself comes on. I've heard this song hundreds of times, but lately I've been doing more than hearing songs and the Bass lines (I'm a Bass player). I not only hear the music, but I also see the meaning and the messages in music more lately. I've stopped focusing on what bass notes are being played, and started focusing on the bigger meanings of why the song was written. Less focus on what is important to me, more about what is important to the writer, and why they needed to share. I received quite a few messages this morning from that song, most important was a little inspiration .... "Get up, get back on your feet - You're the one they can't beat and you know it".
And then - suddenly the music stopped. I may have received an email or something, but it was odd - the music does not stop. I looked where I was, and I was in front of a Veterans memorial Cemetery, the day after the 4th of July. I love to pay respects to the dead on the off holidays. They are just as dead every other day, for all the good reasons and memories and things that they shared. I like to do that alone. With sincerity and no crowds ... no music. I did just that. I stopped my ride for a few moments.
Getting back on, I decided to enjoy the music of the wind whistling past my ears instead of the random teachings. I thought I had had enough to absorb for one day. But my brain had other ideas.
Struggling up a steep hill, I had to stand and pump hard to keep going, and in my twisted head, an analogy occured. "You have to get off your seat and work hard to get to the top of the steepest hills". I got to the top and thought - well, that was random ... but true to my character flaws - I could not stop there - I had to take it further.
I thought about my personal struggles, how in my Life I have climbed a big hill recently, but it was on my own bike, and a hill I alone needed to climb, and now that I have climbed it - I am looking around for everyone else to share it with ... and no one else is there (they are still in bed - lol). True to my character flaw again - I thought about people on adjoining roads, when will we meet, will they ever catch up - on and on. Worthy of a small sermon, all over riding up one small hill.
I will end with this, at some point I passed an elderly black man, riding in an electric wheelchair downtown, on his way for a morning coffee. I slowed way down, and said "good morning ... it's a beautiful day for a ride". He replied simply. "Yes it is, it is a beautiful day for a ride."