Dad used to place his oversized motorcycle helmet on our heads and take us out on the back roads of Apple Tree Trailer Park. The stream up in the blue hills ran clear and shallow, and we'd sit in the middle of it, the bike propped up on its kickstand near the shore. I remember the sound of the engine growling, the smell of gas, the heat from the exhaust pipe radiating near our thin legs.
Recently Dad purchased a new ride, and here he is with my niece Annie.
Have any of you ever read that book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance? I've gone through it a couple times in my life. I was reminded recently of that book, of how the narrator's attention to the bike is a metaphor for how to take care of yourself. I have this dream of one day teaching a class where we all rent RV's and ramble around the United States taking in the slow memories that only unbearably long drives can create. We'd camp at night and practice the art of campfire storytelling, and we'd keep a diary of our travels and our stories and our songs, as well as the best dutch oven recipes.
I'm not sure if this would technically qualify for college credit, but you never know. I think there's something to learn out there on the road with the real air making your hair come alive in the wind, the sun written red on your skin, the bugs in your teeth, and the whole world moving underneath you one inch at a time.