6.11.2006,9:34 PM
Ice Cream Run II: Sunday Ride into the Moon
I worked outside until it got so hot I thought I was going to melt.
"I'm melting; ahhhhh........"
No, I'm not the Wicked Witch of the West, but I did feel like I may combust. Hanging up the tools, shedding dirty clothes on the way to the bathroom, a cold shower was a welcome relief.

But I hate being confined to the house. Air conditioning or not.

All clean and oiled up, I pulled on jeans and tank top and went for a ride. An ice cream ride, that is. As long as I can remember, hot summer evenings mean 'ice cream'. On the bike, that indulgence is even more pleasurable. For often I take the long way home. Today, I took the long way there.

I rode out towards Weatherford this time, due southwest of my home. The roads on the way are elevated and the views over the plains below are wonderful. The horse and cattle ranches, endless acres of rolling pasture, a few oil rigs spotting the horizon, the dark glossy canopy of oak trees. I turned down a road, having no idea where it lead and just rode.

I pulled off the road and onto the shoulder, turned off the bike's engine and then my helmet and sat a spell. Sitting with one foot on a peg, the other draped over the saddle in front of me and on the handle bar, I shoved myself back on the passenger seat and leaned against the sissy bar and watched life unfold in front of me.

There were horses with colts under shaded trees, black calves jumping with tails flying while the cows grazed and ignored them, birds darted after insects and their calls where the only sounds that greeted my ears. The sun beat down on my skin and I felt like a photosynthetic battery recharging itself. My baseball cap, which I always keep in my side bag, shielded my face while my sunglasses protected my eyes, allowing me to see as if I were an animal with polarized vision.

I listened to the rumbling of a tractor as it headed down the hay field nearby, three strong tanned backs and sets of arms gleeming with sweat heaving hay bales on the trailer towed behind. The smell of baled hay, whiffs of manure, and fleeting other scents blew by me on the wind as it washed my smiling face.

It's been a long while, too long, since living that life. The daily neverending chores of checking on livestock, water supply, fences, and always something to fix or build. It's hard work, but there is a feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction at the end of the day when you are so tired you can't remember what day it is. No phones chirping, no keystrokes clicking, no mindless ranting from others; only hard work and a sense of community with your surroundings. Watching the fog from the ocean caress the mountains and roll down into the valley to settle on the sheep's wool and the ground below. I remember watching the sun set and feeling full, content, and rested. It was peaceful. Just as it was today.

It's been a long time, and I dare say I miss it at times.

But then we move on in life and start a new chapter. New words, new paragraphs, new beginnings and new endings. We write our own book of life.

Taking a final full breath of air, waving a hand and throwing a smile to the men now just yards from me, I prepared to go. Pressing the ignition and the engine humming once again, I glanced to catch them wave goodby with one giving me a 'thumb's up'. Returning it in kind, I pulled down my helmet front and accelerated back onto the road.

The sun is dipping low and time for the quest of ice cream and go home.

It's a full moon tonight. If you look up at that moon tonight, you will see me looking at it, too.
posted by Macrobe
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