Saturday, July 14, 2012

Day Three:

The morning carried in brisk air, wet grass, and a bright white sun.  We recounted last night's crazy events as habits were starting to be built in to our packing schemes.  Then we headed down the hill for warmth and coffee.  Hearing Lauren tell her version of "The Scare" made it seem more treacherous than humorous and breakfast was spent reassuring those back home of our ability to stay out of the ditches on the side of the road.

I had so many thoughts and day dreams on the back of that bike that will be forever lost to the open road.  When you embark on a trip with the theme of transition, any moment inside your helmet could be the lightbulb turning on.  So you look for it.  You search your memories, passions, goals, failures, what-ifs, winces, teeth grits, fist pumps, and blank stares for truths.  Sometimes you find one or two, which is nice.  But other times you run into lying facts.  Your emotions turn on you constantly when you are stuck in your own skull for hours.  The human brain led by human feelings can be a scary combination.
The heart is indeed deceitful.

One dangerous lie that my flesh told me was that seeing and scaling the world is the formula for a full life.  Hints of this lie popped in my mind throughout this trip.  Mountains and rivers can take a full cup and help it overflow, but they will never actually do the filling.  I found out that, without love, they leave you lonely.  You never see the beauty of the mountain you are standing on because you're always looking at the ones you have yet to reach.  You are always going to need more mountains if you live this way.  And they are magnificent and powerful, but they never run to you no matter how much you run to them.  They are just rocks and runoffs unless seen with God and shared with others.
I'm glad God can run.

We snuck into a tour of Mammoth Cave before faking a dire diarrhea situation and getting the solo expedited tour by your friendly Kentucky neighborhood tour guide.  Another hour in a hole in the ground, no matter its size, was going to put us behind schedule and we needed a shower.  That two dollar shower followed by a few minutes of lounging in the warm sun created quite the moment for reminiscing.

Lauren's letter for day three was about Isaiah 53.  It made me hungry for home and Scripture.  Her devotion and prayer was the perfect supplement for my distracted and confused mind.  I sat on that curb with my feet on the warm pavement and felt just right.
I sent her a postcard and wooed her by explaining how the depths of the cave were nothing compared to the depths of sorrow my heart felt when I was apart from her.  Yeah, it was only the third day but I had been listening to Travis and Garth sing a bunch of country ballads and "if tomorrow never comes will she know how much I loved her?" That question felt as real as ever on those back roads.

Another great thing happened in Kentucky.  It was the place where I finally understood Bob Dylan.  I had been a casual fan for years, but Bob and I know each other well now.
We hit Princeton, Indiana, at nightfall and washed down a plate full of average Mexican food with cheap Mexican beer.  Everything was indeed right in the world.  Humanity even went above and beyond to prove her good heart to us as the YMCA caretaker offered his gazebo by the pond as our humble abode for the night.  We felt lucky.  And we were.

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