Last Saturday was a scorcher in Boise. Feeling a need for some exercise and trying to avoid the heat, I pumped up my road bike tires and was rolling by 7:30 AM. My plan was to pedal a familiar 30 mile loop. The roads were empty and my mind was on vacation. A perfect combo for a ride.
I passed Boise High School and thought of my graduation 31 years ago. A few blocks later, I was riding past North Jr. High, where I spent three teenage years getting into trouble. OK, there was some learning too. A bit further down 13th Street, I passed the Sun Ray Cafe. The reader board usually advertises one of Dave Martin’s famous soups or an encouraging enticement to knock down some beers on his street side patio. Not today. The line read, “Oh No! Chick is 50!” I was looking forward to returning to this cafe for the evening celebration of Chick’s half century milestone.
Our friendship literally dates back to the crib. Chick had a 7 month head start in life, but I am sure that we met soon after my birth. Our Moms were the best of friends and lived within a block of each other. We grew up together, went to the the same K-12, and even reunited at the University of Puget Sound for college. We have spent the best of times together by discovering girls, driving our first cars, drinking beer, doing sports, taking bong hits, and sharing life. The worst of times were shared too, including the early death of his Father and Brother. It seems like yesterday that he was picking me up in his white Suburu Brat headed for North Jr. High.
We have the kind of relationship where secrets have no cave and we still love each other. Like a star, I may not see him all the time, but I know he is there.
The tough portion of my ride was not the heat or hills, but the realization that time disintegrates at a most amazing pace. Most of the things we looked forward to as kids are now memories. Age and the passing of time teaches many lessons. It has taken 49 years (50 for Chick) for me to realize the importance of now. Yesterday is as much of history as the day that Columbus landed in America. Thinking about both subtracts time from today. I can assure you that our high school thoughts about the future have little relevance to our current circumstances. We all need practical planning for tomorrow, but do not let the mind rob time from today creating the illusion of a better life down the road.
Close your eyes and try to identify a problem that is taking place right now. Not a thought about a future problem or a regret about the past, but a current problem that is happening now. Isn’t that an amazing exercise?
Before I knew what happened, the bike ride was over.