I rode about 24 miles on my bicycle today. I have 3 bicycles. Two were pricey. I ride the heavier slower one now. Reason being, I am no hurry to get anywhere. I am riding for fun and health, neither of which requires speed. My body is doing what most aging peoples bodies are doing. Aging! It is taking longer to recover, to heal and all that from shorter lighter burdens than before.
I do not want to die. But I do not want to spend my life in fear of this inevitable moment. I can get quite maudlin sometimes just thinking about dying. I imagine the nothingness, the absence of loved ones and the inability to protect loved ones. It gives me goose bumps sometimes. At other times I can be quite stoic and gracious at the thought of my demise. After all, it is not like I will be the first person I know to die. And my extensive research on the subject would indicate that no one, not no how, is getting out alive. Not the good people, or the smart ones or the saintly ones or the evil ones.
I take good care of myself. I exercise and eat right. I do not go into risky situations, least ways not like I used to. All that effort may simply mean that I have a nice looking corpse when I get hit by a truck or contract virulent forms of cancer while minding my own business. Steve Jobs couldn’t buy his way out of death and lord knows he had the money to do so.
So, I rode my bike and smiled at everyone I met. The walkers, runners and bikers that like myself don’t want to die. So they drag themselves to the trail and harness this intensity born of fear of mortality. But sometimes my smile distracts them for a brief moment and they smile back, forgetting that they are about the serious business of defeating death. Miles and miles of smiles and smiles.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change. When my time comes, let me have the courage to go with dignity and acceptance.
Writing and thinking tire me.Or maybe it was the bike ride. Or really, it may just be a function of age.