Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.
Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,
Strong and content I travel the open road …
- Walt Whitman
And so begins the first day of an 8-day bike ride in Sweden. Traveling and teaching workshops like I do is my idea of summer vacation, my hanging out on the beach in my island paradise. And yet it is still work and schedules and plane flights and planning and sending notes after the workshop.
But this. This brings me back to the mythology of my childhood and young adulthood. Time spent wandering in the woods or aimless exploring a new city or hitchhiking across the great open expanse of America with Keruoac’s On the Roador Steinbeck’sTravel’s with Charley in my back pocket. That exhilarating sense of freedom, of following one’s nose, of being open to the great, grand surprises a generous Universe offers. Nothing particular to do, nowhere particular to go. Ah, how I have loved it! And how little time I’ve made for it these past years. That will now change.
And so I set off on Day 2, the Incredible String Band song singing in my ears:
Farewell sorrow, praise God the open door
I ain’t got no home in this world any more…
Or rather, every place and every moment is my home in this world. Ta ta!