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the Nature of no of control

A story of a gift of wisdom.

By Oleksandr MatvyeyevPublished 3 years ago 7 min read

It was a rather mysterious morning at the Coldspring, quiet even, Only Fresh air brought by the wind from an endless lake Livingston caressed the nearby trees. This unusually peaceful place gave me time to rest in solitude, simply wrapped by its green-grey beauty and stillness. I needed to keep going, the weather in a place like this could be whimsical I thought, besides I made a promise to myself to be in Houston today.

I left early, around 7.30 am, priorly looking at the lake one more time to say thank you for its vast beauty and all the gifts it gave me. The future of how this day would go was unclear to me just as the fact that dark grey clouds, setting the sky's mood are going to run the day and release a lot of rain on me. Just because clouds are darker than usual doesn't mean I am in trouble.

The shade or color shall not correspond to the level of danger, only actions do.

After I made it through Louisiana being chased by a thunderstorm that occupied the entire sky in the colors of night right before the sunset, but that's another story.

I had to take the same road I took on the day of my arrival. Climbing what I call the first steeper hill of the day, I agreeably looked forward to it and said: Here we go. Remember me? At this point I began to realize that challenges don't get easier, only your resistance does, and there is always a hill steeper, and it won't stop until you do. And so it began, me and the hill embraced each other to see who is going through who. Suddenly a new friend joined us. Rain decided to unleash hell and at the speed of thousands of icy needles per second, this temporary monsoon tried to exfoliate the skin of my face. It's like the lake had its own ecosystem. I could only see six feet ahead of me. Now I know why it was called Coldspring. After twenty minutes it was nearly clear, like nothing ever happened. Soaking wet I decided to stop at the nearest gas station to take a break and change clothes. People were on their way to work, the roads started to make the local roads look busy. A new F150 pulled over and two men came out of it. One of them, a sixty-year-old man in a cowboy hat was carefully prancing over puddles stopped in front of me, preparing to get inside: "Good Lord, son, where are you headed? " Houston, I answered reluctantly, not sure whether he meant to ask about my final destination or today's goal.

I wouldn't want to be in your place. Well, good luck to you, said the man abruptly and entered the store. No shit, I thought, I still have about five hours. I went inside the gas station store to get a cup of coffee and use their restroom. Interaction with a cashier, who's strongly suggested not to bring my bicycle inside with me on the grounds of her being killed by her boss I produced a piece of personal wisdom on the back of my mind. Can you live by the rules You've made, Texas? After a cup of energizing coffee, I replaced my wet clothes for a wool poncho to keep dry and warm for the rest of the road. Since it doesn't take much to steal a bicycle I sprinted inside to use their restroom and quickly went back outside to continue today's journey.

After three hours filled with beautifully made roads and fresh air, a detour through a forest via clay-dirt trail turning into a dead end on a private property I made it to the main road. All I can say is GPS happens to be a bit tricky as well, to say the least. After going back to the main road I saw orange colors ahead. It's getting interesting again, I thought, as I was getting closer to a construction area filled with belief that, hopefully, it is nothing too serious. A white rectangular sheet of metal with rounded corners, screaming, no worries, it's not a concrete wall, just the "road closed" sign.

The rain was over long ago, the tarmac is dry and I am not pedaling anymore, it should be easy to stop. I pulled the breaks and began to slide in and out of balance, feeling the loss of control twenty feet away from the sign. Weird, when I jumped out of a bike after a kick with all the weight of my two shiny yellow panniers soon to be covered in dirt, I kept on running, I started to roll like a barrel or the corkscrew movement when you see a wave after it breaks on a beach. I wish it was that soft. It only lasted a few seconds. I lied on the ground for a moment to acknowledge what just happened. I looked at the sky. After I got up to clean myself up a bit and check for any injuries, I went to see about my bike. Well, it wasn't that bad, just some dirt on my yellow bags and a bit of blood. Wait, where did all the blood come from? I checked myself everywhere again, I touched my head. I got nothing. My hands, it was my right hand. Some skin got ripped off my fingers. It was alright though. As I was putting a bandage over the wound an executive decision was made on an impulse to blame my bicycle for all the suffering and pain which came in waves, pulsing through my right arm burning and yanking my muscles like a tight bracelet over the right wrist. I made a sound, I screamed like an animal, that wasn't as caged as before. I was alive. I was alone there and I felt free, you gotta take advantage of that.

Shortly my shenanigans against the bicycle were interrupted by the sound of screeching metal. Cherry red Toyota Prius tried to fit into while merging onto a left lane and did not make it. It did make a brief interaction by scratching its entire right side against the guard rail. I froze for a moment and forgot about everything I felt. There was the point of my likely entrance onto the road. " Glad, I missed that appointment, I heard an echoing voice in my pelvis with a clarity of truth. Seconds later I saw three trucks making through that same gap, merging with no problem next to each other. I think Jim Morrison would agree it was a Strange day. and it's not even afternoon yet. I couldn't wait and see if the sky was to be in the mood for rain, sheltering my tears. I had to keep going.

After inspecting my bicycle I went around the sign, onto an empty construction site, all dug up and covered in tractor tracks. Further in I could see a shoulder and to avoid any interaction with cars I picked up the bicycle and walked through a trench. The dirt was too thick because of all the clay in it. After I put my bike on the shoulder I kept going. When you bicycle for six or seven hours every day your body goes through a subtle transformation, but your mind keeps trying to be involved. Fatigue lets the fear wonder. It was the first time such an utterly simple thought had entered my mind in a form of a doubt, a fearful doubt shaped in the form of a question you don't want to hear. What if I don't make it today?

Instantaneously I was brought back to my senses after I felt something above my head. It flew by and landed on the edge of the shoulder I was on. I saw it standing on the edge, and, while looking me in the eyes it waited for me to pass. It was a big barn owl. Was that an owl, what? I screamed in surprise of a lifetime. Right before I passed this magnificent bird it lost its balance and fell straight on the side, as if it dropped dead after finishing a task. Everything happened so fast, it took me a while to even realize that I actually saw it, such beauty, so brief and out of place. It was as if out of that entire day those few irrevocable moments were forever shaped in my heart. I wanted to go back and see to it, but my brain talked me out of it for doing that after what had happened so far and me being on the shoulder of the deadly highway covered in debris. I was scared and felt sorry that I just wanted to make it to a safe place and recuperate instead of turning back and seeing if the bird was still alive. I totally forgot about the pain I was having in my body, it was replaced by sorrow and regret. Sometimes you just need to keep going and take care of yourself and things happen the way they need to. I learned all that after having lunch at a coffee shop one hour before the end of my journey, that kept going whether I chose to be in it and experience it all or try to gain control and fail. Life is an interesting continuous journey whether you choose to hold on to your past or simply experience it and let go. Things happen the way they need to happen and I cannot stop, certainly not by thinking about how it goes. To this moment I feel that Owl warned me. Look, my friend, life is a series of brief moments, appreciate it for what it is. Don't waste your time thinking about how to live it. Let go. You can either choose to live your life or to dream about it from afar.


About the Creator

Oleksandr Matvyeyev


I am an actor and a writer. I began to write since the pandemic began back in March of notorious 2020. I've crossed the South of the US on my bicycle and went home to Ukraine for 4 months. I have a lot to say, so let's begin.

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    Oleksandr MatvyeyevWritten by Oleksandr Matvyeyev

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