Sunday, December 2, 2012
Melancholy, Meditation, and Medicine
A little before sunset, I set out for a couple of hours. Sometimes I ride when I don't know what else to do. When life becomes difficult, I find that the rhythm of turning cranks and removing other sources of outside stimulus helps the meditation process. I have learned that pedaling can often be good medicine.
I lost my father-in-law yesterday. His three children lost their father. His wife lost a husband, and many people lost a wonderful friend. I share in the collective grief, and I hurt for all of them. But in addition to that, I have my own sense of loss. I remember meeting him the first time my wife (before we were married) brought me home to meet her parents. I can only imagine what he must have thought of such an immature kid with his eldest daughter. But he always treated me like I was special.
He was truly like a second dad for me. He was always patient, warm, hospitable, and in spite of my profound clumsiness, included me in his activities. I've spent many hours in his shop with him helping him build airplanes. It would have been more efficient for him to do things himself, but he took the time to teach me how to do things so I could be a part of his world. He made me feel like I was useful to him, and when we talked about more serious matters, he made me feel like I was making good decisions. Is there anything better for a man than this kind of affirmation?
I can only hope he knows how much I appreciate the gift of his daughter, that I've done my best to take good care of her, and that I loved him dearly.
So I rode tonight with my one gear a good deal of time into a 20+mph headwind. But when your heart hurts this much, you can't feel your legs.