The breeze is chilly as I pedal but if I focus, I can feel the sun warming my shoulders. I pedal harder, straining my muscles in order to warm up. Soon my comfort improves enough to tune into the concert around me; I find myself being serenaded by birds, frogs and even the chilly wind. I pedal further, the wind pushing me on, enjoying a gorgeous spring day. As I turn down an unexplored road something new takes focus, the scent of freshly cut pine. This is my Zen!
There is nothing better than exploring the back country roads in Wisconsin. The roads are nearly bare of motorized traffic, giving me the freedom to enjoy at my will. The final snow banks are hiding in the shade, hanging around as long as they can, but spring is evident in the water across the road. It has nowhere to go because the ground is still frozen. That is the perfect place to turn around and find another road to explore.
The memories are too strong to ignore, I leave my bike at the edge of the path to stand on the lake shore. This is the lake I spent many hours fishing and swimming in while growing up. I want to tell someone about my memories, but then I remember it is the middle of the week, the middle of the day, and too early in the season so no one is there to share my memories. It is for this exact reason that I can hear the birds sing and the frogs croak. It is quiet, allowing nature to shine through.
Time to turn towards home. I turn into the wind and realize I pedaled further than I had planned. It is always easier when the wind is at your back. However, this is part of my journey. If I waited for perfect weather, with temperatures just right, and no wind, I wouldn’t get out much. It is the wind that makes me take notice of something else. While stopped at an intersection, the clanging of the flag pole pulled my eyes upward to notice the brand new flag flying. Norm and I had lamented about the tattered flag that had been flying there recently. This new flag was flapping with pride. This is my Zen!
Spring in Wisconsin is the perfect time and place to find my Zen. How about you? Where do you find yours?