The first questions they ask us are, "Where are you going?", followed promptly by, "And how long are you staying?" We had come to a landslide in the road and met another motorcycle couple next to the detour sign. They are natural questions to ask, of course, based on the natural assumption of a return. Trips need plans and return tickets, right? I quit my job 6 days ago, found a subletter, bought a full set of motorcycle gear and painstakingly chose my wardrobe for the next week? Month? Two months? In truth, we don't have an end date or a set itinerary. We are venturing deep into the land of the unknown. Giant question marks peep over every horizon. Trying to plan for so many factors is stressful, because we want to be in control of where we are going and exactly how we get there. Letting go of the where's and the how's can be terrifying in relinquishing control. Last night I felt homeless, the idea of leaving behind everything just started to seep in. I was afraid of this amorphous being. I realized, perched on the back of the bike today, winding through pastureland, that confidence in one's capabilities and trust in the future completely mitigated all my fear. That planning is trying to control the future, but choosing direction and attitude is giving the future the faith is deserves. Someone said that if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. Tonight, instead of my little comfortable bed, I find myself surrounded by curious deer next to a lake, with the stars shining overhead and frogs peeping in the hills. And I didn't plan it.
California Motorcycle Reflections