11.21.2006,9:33 PM
Evolution Day and Tech Weekend

There comes a time in life where your birthday means almost nothing. It’s all about how you feel inside. Another year passed chronologically, but the day is like any other day. Unless you make it your day.

After all, it is your day; the day you were pulled out of the womb kicking and screaming, from the warm comforting amniotic fluid bathing you, cramped in the uterus of your mother; essentially, a parasite. Out into the cold brightness gasping air like a fish reluctantly yanked out of the water. It’s a speed journey of evolving from two cells in a warm aquatic bowl to the harsh environment of human life where we eventually walk on two limbs and drag the other two.

Too bad we didn’t retain our gills; our ancestors exchanged them for lungs eons ago.

In celebration of my Evolution Day, or Birthday as it is commonly called, I historically take the day off from work and self-indulge. I do what I want to do and in the morning emerge as a ghost, existing as a shadow amongst my own species. Some years I have elected to disappear entirely, traveling some place where the only human around is myself. Or spent the entire day with my horse; he and I are the best of buddies.

This year I threw all to the wind and attended a weekend of bike work, an feast of smoked meat and fixings, giant bonfire, bikes and riders galore, stars twinkling in the sky, sleeping in a tent in the brisk of the night and a chorus of singing coyotes. I met new riders, shared riding stories, learned new technical tricks, ogled over bikes and tickled my taste buds by feasting on mouthwatering food.

Fighting sleep with two mugs of strong coffee, somehow I stayed awake at the bonfire until midnight. Finally ready to succumb, I excused myself and slinked away to crawl into my two sleeping bags. And slept curled inside like a tired wolf after a day’s chase and play with the pack.

I awoke slowly from a deep slumber to hear two groups of coyotes; one nearby group giving chorus with sharp barks to another pack further away. Two youngsters were close by and the sound of their hesitant and unconfident yips betrayed their young age. Lying awake for moments, I listened to their hunting and social communication and smiled at how after all these years away from the ranch I can still interpret their vocalizations. And it still sounds like music to my ears.

I think I was still smiling as I slipped back into deep sleep. It was the first night in a week that I had slept so fitfully and soundly.

New friends, matching real people to online forum identities, sharing stories and tips, helping each other and laughing. Good medicine for the soul.

It was the best Evolution Day I’ve had in over ten years.


posted by Macrobe
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