Freedom Sweet Freedom
As I pulled the iron horse onto the highway I could tell that the rest of my life would be changed for the better. The weather was perfect and the open road was so inviting. I knew that I could go east or west and it was all up to me to decide, but somehow I knew the road would be chosen for me.
I walked into the small diner clad in full leathers as the morning sun rose over the trees. It was an out of the way place and the patrons totaling near 30 all stopped what they were doing to see this stranger. I had ridden alone for hours. They soon realized that I presented no harm nor intended to explain my life story. I knew I had a long day of riding ahead of me and I needed some sustenance to keep my mind alert and my riding abilities sharp. With a full meal, I would be able to let the road behind me be just that and find new dreams and realities ahead. Morning breakfast was complete, all were safe and this weathered soul was ready to ride the iron Harley to whatever lay ahead. I didn’t know my destination, but somewhere deep inside I was searching for freedom, sweet freedom.
After several hours of riding I pulled into the small vacation town to find the streets filled with people hurrying to get to their next destination. It reminded me too much of home; I felt out of place and I soon realized that only the open road would be my freedom today. A quick stop at a roadside park to stretch my muscles offered me a great view of the bay and I dreamed of someday being on one of the sailboats drifting aimlessly where the current would take me. I thought of how wonderful to be void of cell phones, loud stereos, people pissing me off and daily realities. It only took a few minutes to realize my sailboat was my motorcycle and I needed to get back on the path that would allow me to escape these realities I so wished to leave behind. It was time to get onto where the highway met the skyway.
Crossing the Mackinaw Bridge was breathtaking. I said a little prayer knowing that this gift was created so I could enjoy it in this one single moment. It was there to allow me to see the world in a different view. The water was perfect; the horizon offered a beautiful message of forgiveness and an invitation to the future. The smell was clean and pure. I knew then that this ride had more to offer than I expected. I needed to find a place to rest and absorb the beauty of Michigan. This was the place where past meets present. I couldn’t help but wonder what took place at this historical location at the same time my friends at Harley-Davidson were dreaming of the motorcycles that now carried me to my dreams. There were too many miles to travel and after a short rest, the road called me to find more adventure.
. I found 20 miles of beautiful road that offered many curves, turns and switchbacks. This was my road; I owned it and it would be conquered. It was. I felt the energy of each twisting curve. Oh how my Harley-Davidson obeyed my every command with each braking and I leaned her in the perfect degree to master the challenge. There would be no time for worry, no time to recall my last conversation, no time to think about what was left undone. The only time I had, the only time I needed, was now. The road under my wheels found me smiling and grateful for the road left behind. I now sought new adventure but didn’t care what new tapestry lay ahead. This was my ride and I was off to the next memory ready to be made.
No more stops for me this day. Food could wait; I will stop for gasoline only. I’d come to ride and I was going to ride indeed. I had realized the journey was far greater than the destination. I was seeking something and I now realized the ride was my fulfillment. With four hours of daylight left, I decided that I would not choose a direction. Only the road and the future lay ahead. It didn’t matter where I ended my day; it could be at a motel along the highway, the woods where I could relax with raw nature or the beach shore where my mind could wander with each wave. It was now that I realized that I am; I can be without definition. I owned this day.
The trip indicator read nearly 900 miles for the weekend ride. My body spent and my skin burning from the exposure to the sun. I could feel the stress rising in my soul and the thunder of the bike would soon be quieted if even for a moment. I had come to reality that this ride would soon lead me home. I fought back the desire to turn the bike into a new direction and find more memories. It was time to come back down from the alcohol free high and get back to my everyday life. The road had been good to me. I will forever call the highway my freedom, sweet freedom. It is there that I was able to let my troubles and worries go. I let the wind have them, they no longer belonged to me, I didn’t want them and for a moment, I realized that I survived without them.
As I pulled the Electra Glide into the drive I remembered how freedom asked if I wanted to go east or to go west. I’m glad I didn’t choose; I’m grateful the road was chosen for me.
Until we meet again my friend,