This week was supposed to be merely a change of scenery, connecting with friends and family, and the opening of some opportunities that weren’t present before. Most of this has happened, but I’ve been hindered by a head cold – handed to me by my 9 month old God son. If it were a few nights ago, I’d be complaining. The headache was unbearable. But, I’m entering the end of the week feeling more rested than I have in some time. It would seem that this travel has allowed for something a bit more than work and ministry.
Last week, I was in Lancaster, PA to connect with my best friend’s band (Salt n’ Light) to do some poetry with them playing behind. I ended up seeing friends and associates I’d not seen in a half decade or more in some cases. Many of them had families. Some of them walking out life and faith in their respective paths. All in all, quite interesting. I loved the question, “so what are you doing these days?” And the answer finding one part surprise and another part nods of affirmation – I’m on the road they saw all along.
I’m in Philly now. Having had most of the week between biking across half my home town and being sick and laid out the rest of it. By the time this post goes up, I should be nearing getting out of the bed so that I can bike to North Philly to my grandmother’s house. That’s the kind of thing my father used to do – bike across the city. He did it in part for transportation, and in part because it was just an adventure. I came here this trip wondering if I am built the same. And in the answer, so far in the rides I’ve taken, not the least bit surprised that I’m on a similar road (in respect to biking).
I’ve come across a few people who seem stuck though. They’ve aged, and in part matured, but haven’t made what they consider a move forward. I’m not sure of what to tell them. They marvel at the flexibility that I (seem to) have and want for the same. They are allowed the same is what I feel. No one is shackled to the road they are on unless they want to be. Yes, there are responsibilities and consequences to decisions that we’ve made. Yet, even in that we’ve got a life to live. And we should take those travels as we can – as much as travels allow.
I probably shouldn’t be trying such a long ride. But do you know what temperatures in the mid-80s (F) do to folks here? Pure happiness. And the fact that the Eagles won their first preseason game should make for a slightly better run of things. I’m expecting simply to see what the city looks like on two wheels. I lived here for so long, been in a car through all of it, on a bus, trolley, or subway through much of it. But never at the speed of a brisk walk. Cities look different then. They feel different then. And at least in my appreciation of Charlotte and DC, you understand a bit better why life has grown the way it does. Not saying that I’d move back here, but the rides help me to understand what I did like.
That kind of freedom to move we should enjoy while we can. And if our heads get stuffy with life or life’s consequences, that doesn’t mean we don’t breathe – just that we take things a bit slower while we turn our heads to see what’s around us.