Saturday, June 4, 2011

Just Because

When is the last time you did something illogical, irresponsible, nonsensical, just because?

It was 6 AM and I lay staring at the ceiling wondering why I was awake so early on a Saturday. Despite being exhausted, I had stayed up late Friday, as I usually did, in celebration of conquering another week. So Saturday was to be my carefully guarded sleep-in morning. But despite my efforts to go back to sleep, peeking through the slats of the bedroom blinds came a glimpse of sunshine and the tempting hint of a blue-skyed day. Like the wink of a stripper, there was a thinly veiled suggestion that, if I paid attention, so much more would be revealed shortly. But recent mornings had often started bright and clear, only to renege on their promise, and I had become skeptical due to the grey days that populated so much of the past "spring" months.

Thoughts of potential activities for the day successively muddled my mind, each one getting mixed up with the ideas just before it. There was the stack of papers, files and binders that begged for attention on my den desk downstairs. Monday to Friday never seems to be enough and the weekend could always be filled with work. Next there was the list of jobs in the yard and around the house that could be done, now that it was dry enough to do them. As always, there seem to be an endless number of errands to do, items to deliver and extracurricular volunteer tasks to be completed. Maybe, I mused hopefully, there would be some way to squeeze in coffee or lunch with friends? And then the thought came to me, along with a smile.
What if I took the motorcycle on a day-ride? Given that I will be leaving in 10 days with 5 others on our annual motorcycle journey, I had been feeling a little rusty due to getting very few rides over the winter and spring because of the lousy weather. I had floated the idea of a motorcycle ride past Renae the night before, and she seemed totally supportive. Good enough then! Chores, errands and legal work could wait. The sunshine beckoned and I could not resist. I was out of the door wearing my bike gear in a matter of minutes.

The ride started in cool and crisp air, the sun not yet high enough to warm the road that stretched out invitingly ahead of my two wheels. As I thought about the warm day ahead I began daydreaming about growing up in Vernon, and how the hot, dry summer days had lured me many times to Kalamalka Lake to cool off with a swim. Then it came to me. My destination was clear.

No one would know I was coming. What if no one was home? Perhaps I should have done the practical thing and called ahead. But it would have spoiled the surprise. Going to Vernon for lunch with my mother seemed like the perfect thing to do, even if unjustifiable and illogical. No one travels 450 km (300 miles) for lunch, only to turn around and drive the same distance home in time for supper. Crazy? That is what my mother said, but she greeted me with a big smile nonetheless.

One hour for lunch, then fill up Big Blue with gasoline to pacify her almost empty tank, and I was off again, retracing my tracks as if running the morning's movie in reverse. 4 hours, nonstop, the return trip was hot, with large bugs seeming to know every time I lifted the visor of my helmet to insert a Tootsie Pop in my mouth. I swear the "insect bullets" left bruises! Cruising past panorama views of snowcapped mountains standing proudly over newly cut hay laying green in river-laced basins, I was left with a broad grin and a recurring question. "Why do I not do these unpredictable and impetuous things more often?"
Life for someone with Parkinson's disease is often measured, withdrawn, safe and planned. But for me, despite my PD, I need to be more spontaneous. Life, even one challenged by Parkinson's, is more than the discipline of duty and obligation. Neither is it best filled with mindless distraction and frivolity. We all need soul-sustaining serendipity, too. Just because.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great way to spend a sunny Saturday! :)