I ride on the back of a moto quite frequently. I hear the phrase, “We go now,” and know that it’s time to put on my silver alien helmet and hop on the moto. When this happens, I don’t always know where we’re headed. I just know that it’s time to go. So, I clamber on.
The other day, I was riding with my coworker. We were travelling down a road that had suffered much during the torrential downpours of the rainy season, and we were swerving around potholes and driving through puddles… I’ll be honest: it was rough. The road alternated between being so bumpy I thought I was about to launch into the sky and being so slippery that I had visions of an impromptu mud bath. As we travelled, I was hyper-focused on the road ahead: Oh, here, it’s eroded, prepare for the bump! Oh, it’s flooded- will we go around or through?
Suddenly, I was prompted to stop looking ahead and to look around instead. Let me tell you, it was beautiful. We were driving out of an orchard, approaching open fields. To my right, across the verdant rice paddies, the mountain began to rise, a startling, luscious green against the brilliant blue sky spotted with wispy clouds. To my left were traditional wooden homes, raised on stilts above the fields, with a view that stretched to the horizon. It was a moment of I want to picture this forever.
A bump jostled me from my reverence. I was back to staring achingly at the road, automatically clenching my hands to the bar beneath my legs. Wait. Go back to the view.
I relaxed. I open my hands, letting them hang loose at my side, and once more, glanced up, beginning to admire the beauty surrounding me. It still stunned me. To go from a white-knuckle grip, anxious about the approaching rough spots, to suddenly being filled with peace and a sense of awe for where I was at… it shocked my system.
It shocked my system so much, I began to get philosophical.
It’s like life, I thought. We go through our life journeys so focused on what troubles might be approaching, so focused on the rough spots, the places we’re shaken, or in the slippery places, where we fear we will fall. We even use the analogy of roads and journeys, it’s so easy to see. We talk about how the road we are on is rough, about the trials we’re facing, trying to reach some goal. We talk about the road; we talk about the destination; why don’t we talk about the scenery?
Sometimes, yes, the road we travel is rough. But, don’t forget to take a moment to look up and enjoy the view. Your road might be taking you through some beautiful places, giving you the opportunity to see something you haven’t seen yet, before leading you on to your destination.