The lines in my face
Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,
I read about a group of local guys who are riding their bikes from Oregon to Patagonia. I looked them up and realized that I know one of them personally. I loaded peaches with him. Another of them is the son of Peter Jenkins, who wrote A Walk Across America among other travel logs.
I sat and flipped through the pictures online of their first days on the road. Filtered images of camp hammocks strung between Northwest pines, jet boiled coffee resting on damp logs, photos of the coast and the open road along it’s shore.
Part of me was jealous.
I have photos like those. Stored away.
I rode my bike this morning.
Even as I considered the future my mind wandered back to the days of my early adult life. The adventures I had, places I went, chances I took. I ran the film forward in my mind, to more mountains, coasts, beautiful places.
Then to the place where you entered my life.
I won’t be riding my bike to Patagonia any time soon.
But on the country roads of our town I appreciated the diversity of the entire adventure. One day you’re driving half way across the country, diving in the keys, or sleeping beside a waterfall. And the next you’re holding your first child, alone in a hospital hallway praying for miracles, then descending tall mountains again, then riding a few miles early on a holiday, waking your 3 kids, feeling them wrap around you with all their strength in a hug.
I don’t know what’s ahead in this life. I guess that’s the point. Because it’s all temporary until the end.
Last night you asked me where the lines in my forehead came from, Max. You put your little finger against the wrinkles in my face and traced them. “What are these lines, Daddy?”
They’re stories I’ll tell you one day. Some you’ll believe.
They’re adventures to far off places. Dark moonless nights, noises in the trees. Icy water. The crash of foam against rock. Sore lungs from effort beyond their capacity.
Adventures of the spirit. And dark moonless nights, holding you kids close in the comfort of our suburban home. Early morning, fixing your breakfast, helping you get dressed, going back to the process of being dad each day.
There’s still a bicycle in our garage.
I have nothing to be jealous about.
I love you,
TRAINING: OFF SEASON:
Sat: Rode 25 miles
Sun: Ran 8 miles
Mon: Rode 20miles