June 1st, the beginning of summer and time for our annual trek to Oregon. I was riding my motorcycle, and Judy followed in our car, which was loaded with our summer-living necessities. We’d expected a bit of rain, and I was prepared. The entire day, I wore my rain pants, pulled down over my jeans and boot tops, and my fluorescent yellow rain jacket, velcroed tightly around my neck and sleeves. It did rain off and on, and occasionally, I’d stand on my pegs so the wind would clear the water off my face shield.
By early evening, traveling north through the mountains on I-5, around Mt. Shasta City, the skies darkened and the rains began again. It was noticeably colder, and I thought about changing my gloves. Rounding a curve, just south of Weed, we ran smack into wet, blanketing snow. It had already stuck on the ground and quickly covered my windshield.
Survival mode kicked in immediately. I lifted myself to a squat to see over the windshield. Adrenalin and thoughts exploded. Two motorcycling adages came to mind as I had to take my left hand off the handle grip and swipe snow off my visor: “Slow down and hold tight.” and “Chin up, stay up.” I did both and concentrated on keeping upright. Then, I tried to recall the three Weed exits -- Were the off-ramps curvy? How steep were they? Where were the motels?
Slowly and steadily, I steered the Goldwing to the North Weed off-ramp, a straight slab of snow-covered cement, where two easy right turns led us into the parking lot of the Motel 6. What a relief! But, I didn’t breathe easily until I was fully stopped, the side stand was down, and the bike was turned off. Then, I climbed off and began shaking. I had made it! I’d kept the “rubber side down” and was safe.
|Soaked, but safe, in Weed, California|
When faced with any kind adversity, we all dig deep inside and come up with exactly what it takes to get ourselves through. Each of us has learned from experience and observation and can call on the skills, knowledge and reserves within us, whether the tough situation is dangerous or scary or emotionally risky. I’ve learned that slowing down, holding tight, and keeping my chin up works for almost any challenge. And, as Winston Churchill is supposed to have said, “When going through hell, [we] keep going.”
Have you had any recent storms to weather in your life? What inner resources did you draw upon?
~ xoA ~