Adiós Auckland...

Peg left Auckland at 5am this morning and I was awake to see her off... And then promptly, after looking at my phone to check the time back home and seeing a couple of messages from loved ones, I rolled over and went back to sleep... next time I promise I'll write back before I go back to sleep!!!

I slept until almost 7am then made coffee (Yes... that instant stuff again - but hey, its growing on me!!) and watched the last bit of a movie on TV a war movie detailing how an American solider was rescued from the Taliban by a Muslim family... anyone know the title?  Not too badly done... lots of action to wake a body up thats for sure!

When the cleaning staff wanted in the room at 9am I thought I'd best get up and get going!  And so, I enjoyed a long hot shower and shaved off a two day stubble whereupon I packed up my meagre possessions and carried them down to the parking garage and loaded them on the bike.  And then, I heard Denny's calling my name.  Or maybe it was my stomach growling?  Either way I ended up over at Denny's where I enoyed the "budget breakfast" of two eggs, hash browns, toast and coffee for $6.90.  For your information, at the SkyCity Hotel they wanted $21.00 for the same spread!

With my belly full I returned to the room hoping that the key would still work... Peg had checked out at 5am and while she said she'd told them that I'd be there til later... it would be just my luck to be locked out of the room!  Success, the door opened and I was in.  I suited up - opting, as the sun was out and I had a short ride, to leave the rain gear (which goes underneath my armoured coat and pants) off.   I should have known better...

As I returned to the bike and put the last of my possession in their place for the ride out to Henderson, I confess that some of the anxiety returned.  But, all I could do was get back on the horse... and so I did... and because I could not find the exit to pay the parking toll, I did manage to squeeze by a barrier (I was lost in the parking garage!!) and saved myself $40.00 in parking fees... Hey!  I was lost and surely the bike did not take up $40 worth of room over two days!!!

 Anyways... back to riding.  I'm happy to say that within a few moments of being on the road I was at ease again, enjoying the ride... at least until it started to rain five minutes out of the downtown area, on the motorway, where there was no place to pull over and put on the rain gear!

Thankfully the rain didn't last long - just another one of those very brief showers that exist to remind
you that you are on an Island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that has numerous wind currents carrying moisture from many different directions... in other words... during the spring in New Zealand... plan to get wet!

Back at the rental place, I unloaded the bike as I waited to the owner to return and when he did, he made me coffee as I recounted my adventures of the past five days.  He was just a little shocked at all that I had seen and experienced and asked me to take the time to recount it for him in an email - I told him about the blog... that he could read all about it there - that I was trying to put the memories behind me...

And I think I'm succeeding - for the most part... but it all comes back to vulnerability.  Somehow what each of these experiences have reminded me is how vulnerable I am - and anyone of us is, when we "put ourselves out there".  This is a significant learning for me as I've always understood myself to be pretty much in control of my world...  And yes, I thrive on the experience of leaning into a curve with only gravity to hold you up... and I always fancied myself to be in control... now, I'm not so sure that I'm in complete control...

Does that mean I stop doing what I'm doing?  Does it mean that I stop riding, stop exploring, stop leaning into curves, stop putting myself out there?  No, I don't think so.  But perhaps it does mean that I need to exercise a little more caution?  After all, I am fifty now...

Maybe my age is also influencing how I've experienced the events of the past few days?  There is still much that I want share with others, to see and do and experience in this "second half" of my life - though I'm not sure I want to live to a hundred...

Perhaps my perspective on the world is changing?  For as said Muhammad Ali, “The man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.”

So… how has my view of the world changed or how is it changing?  Well, for one I come to believe more fully in the power of vulnerability as a positive force for change… to expose one’s self… to speak the difficult truth… to risk reaching out… is to allow for possibility.  To be vulnerable is to create space for something new.

And so, I am forced to ask myself as I deal with the events of the past few days, events that I am beginning to understand as ‘vulnerability overload’ what is the something new that is being created?

Truth is… I don’t know fully… but I do like some of the elements and practices that have become part of my daily living:
truthfulness with myself and others about my longings, hopes and fears
being grateful for what is and what I have
an openness to what will be… will be
I came across these words the other day as I sat in the quiet of the hotel room with Peg.  They seemed like a comfortable sweater that I needed in that moment:
No amount of regret changes the past.
No amount of anxiety changes the future.
But any amount of gratitude changes the present.
And so, as I prepare to say, “Adiós Auckland” I am doing my best to minimize the feelings of regret and anxiety that I have about various circumstances in my life... and to leave with the memory of gracious people and beautiful scenery of Auckland cluttered with the memories of witnessing three tragic accidents… and be grateful:
for those who wait for me at home and wish me safety on the journey
for those who have met me where I was at (and where I am) and loved me just the same
for the opportunity to “get back on the horse” and trust that “It’ll be ok…”
…on the Sabbath Road…


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