"It's the journey that's important, not just the destination." (click to enlarge this photo I took this weekend. Kinda funky, and perhaps one to submit to the Mirror Project?
This weekend all of twenty of us graduate students were frantically trying to finish phase two of our action research proposals. Holed up in our pod cubicles, we tried to ignore the perfect weather of southern England. By mid-afternoon on Sunday, Darth Vader and I were going stir-crazy, so we hopped on the motorcycle and took off to destinations unknown.
I suspect that Darth Vader was subconsciously tuned into my own wish to keep riding and riding, and never return. Some would call it procrastination. Some would call it avoidance. I simply call it a desire to LIVE LIFE rather than spending the day holed up under florescent lights, drinking bad coffee in the stale air of a dorm, and burying my nose in electronic libraries. Somehow, the call of the open road on a sunny day was louder than my call to duty to be a responsible student.
We left Plymouth, and headed out to the country where we passed thatched-roofed cottages, Sunday family gatherings in rural gardens, and the white-against-green image of players in a meadow games of cricket. We found tiny county lanes, streams, meadows, and views from a hill whose name we still don't know.
And, we promptly got lost.
What was planned as a half-hour jaunt turned into an hour and a half of lovely meandering through into the country villages of Devon. I didn't care. If we had ridden for five hours, I wouldn't have cared. There's something about motorbike riding that is so.... meditative.Trance-like. It's not unlike a prayer. Whenever I return from riding, I feel as though I've had some sort of religious experience. It's Zen, and Persig would agree. Riding is good for the soul.
Finally, we stopped in an unknown town and my mythical warrior reached into his saddlebag his GPS gadget. After punching a few buttons, we finally determined which direction to go in order to reach Plymouth. We finally made it back.
I paid for that trip, big time. I finished my action research project proposal at 2 am this morning. Was it worth it?
When I'm old, I won't remember my action research project. I will remember, however, the day we got lost on the country roads of England.