Look Out Rocky!!! The Bike Ride & My Writer’s Dilemma

Originally posted on June 22nd, 2010

So I’m out riding my bicycle on a lovely summer day.  It’s gorgeous and I’m giddy from the summer-only scents of honeysuckle, rose hips and the huge privet bushes that have been left to their own devices in the untamed areas of the island where I live.  I love the unique peace of the bicycle ride.  The freedom it affords.  Robins are darting across my path with such a crazy consistency it’s like they’re trying to tell me something. Summer is humming all around me.

As idyllic as it is, I’m feeling conflicted about this ride.  Part of me feels I should be physically attached to my computer working tirelessly in the way that a really dedicated writer does. That’s the thing about being a writer — you never feel like you’ve written enough.  At least that’s how I feel.  No matter how much I produce, I am often left feeling that I could have worked harder and written longer.

I then remember reading that Ernest Hemingway wrote one page a day in the mornings.  Once he had written his page, which he would labor over for hours,  he was free to  his throw himself into his uber-manly pursuits, which of course gave him plenty of material to write about.  I tell myself that my bike ride, while it’s not deep sea fishing or big game hunting,  might give me something to write about too,  though can’t help but wonder if I’m just rationalizing or procrastinating (something I can’t afford to do).

Ride to write?  Write to ride?  This is My Writer’s Dilemma. Does the ride reward the writer (me) or does the ride serve the writer (also me)?  At this moment, I don’t know, so off I go…

Whenever I leave my house–be it by vehicle or on foot–I set the intention for a safe and uneventful journey.  “Uneventful” means just what it sounds like–I get to where I’m going without incident: no crashes, no collisions, no being pulled over by cops, which equals no tickets, etc. You get the idea. I think of myself as a “conscious commuter.”  I even have an animal clause.  I would never want to kill a creature, great or small, with my car (I would feel terrible, plus it would be gross).  Also, I don’t want to ride over roadkill while I’m on my bike.  Yes, I am that squeamish.

I am almost back home from my lovely, summery, albeit partially conflicted, though nicely uneventful pedal-to-no-metal cruise.  I’m thinking about what I’m going to be working  when I get home: my “damn book” (mentioned in my previous “Flood” post) and what my next blog topic should be (I haven’t a clue).

Suddenly a-big-fat-load-of-Bizarre-with-a-capital-“B” hits.  A squirrel, from out of nowhere, bolts right into my front tire.  So determined is this animal to cross in front of me, that I can feel his (her?) body hitting the wheel.  He’s so persistent I can hear his little claws scratching against the bike as though he is trying to stop it from moving so he can pass.  I am clearly in this squirrel’s way.

I squeeze the hand brake while squealing loudly like a cartoon version of myself, because, well I just can’t freakin’ help it. “Eeeeeeeeeek!! Aaaaaaaaack!!”

Additionally, I’m praying that I don’t run over this nutty ballsy squirrel or worse–crash and go down smack on top of Rocky!

The bike doesn’t stop right away.  I’m still rolling while Rocky is taking his life in his little gray crazy paws.  What is so weird is how committed he is.  Rocky is going to cross in front of me no matter what.  He hits my bike?  So what.  He hits it again?  WHATever. There is no stopping him. There is no turning back. It’s like his own personal D-Day and my bike his is Normandy.

I’m finally slow down enough that he’s able to cross, which he does like he has a rocket strapped to his tail, leaving both of us unharmed.  By my standards, if no one gets hurt, which includes aggro squirrels with apparent death wishes, it still qualifies as “uneventful.”  I utter a big “phew.”

Of course I’m no expert, but Rocky’s behavior strikes me as really out of character (squirrel-wise).  I wondered if there was a deeper meaning to the incident.  Was Rocky actually trying to tell me something?  My secret inner-Shaman-ista side starts to emerge–the side of me that believes in the communion of all life.  I think everything has something to offer us if we are open to it.  This is how I quietly roll, when I’m trying not to roll over madcap squirrels, that is.

To find an answer to my esoteric query, I refer to the book Animal Spirit Guides by Steven D. Farmer, Ph.D., to see what a squirrel close encounter this memorable might mean.  According to Dr. Farmer, squirrels can have multiple meanings, but the one from this book that really resonated for me was: “Although you are actively and aggressively pursuing your goals right now, you need to balance this pursuit with more socializing and play.”
“Play!” So there you have it.  The determined squirrel did represent something… it’s perfectly all right, in fact, advisable, for me to take a bike ride when the spirit moves me.  The ride does serve the writer. 
My Writer’s Dilemma is solved… in a most unexpected way.  Now, what’s up with the Robins?

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