Memory is such a strange phenomenon. Somewhere in our brain there are cells that must make a connection to our soul where I suspect our memories are stored. Anatomists would say the temporal lobe holds these recollections of our past but even as a scientist, MD, I have serious doubts. I find it hard to believe that these happenings, so vivid sometimes, can be stored in simple cells and their connected circuitry.
Today we ride from Huron to Bowling Green leaving behind Lake Erie. In fact I will see no more of the Great Lakes on this trek as I head inland towards the Mississippi River a hundred miles south of Chicago, and then turn north ever approaching the Canadian border to within 3 miles of our Northern Neighbor in Eureka, Montana.
The ride is through rich farmland…wheat, corn and soybeans, hundreds of thousands of acres…all shades of green.
Angel and I decided to stop for a while …Flossie wanted to flirt with a mule…not sure now interested the mule was…
It’s important to be patient with special companions.
I recall this ride from before. Up ahead I see the Ohio Turnpike which I will go under …my memories flood back from three years ago. I can recall the next two miles in perfect detail, yard by yard. I remember what I was thinking in great detail, a story I was writing in my head, the rain, the slick road, the fields of green. I recall realizing my belly was smaller than the start. ( I look down today and decide that yet again it has become smaller 3 weeks out).
My eyes go back three years…I pass under the Turnpike and see two riders some 300 yards ahead. One suddenly falls and then the other. I ride to them as fast as I can to help…one has a concussion another a severely bruised arm and leg…both have gotten caught in wet railroad tracks.
My mind flicks back to the present, there are 5 riders around me…I quickly flit back and forth to warn them about dangerous tracks 300 yards ahead. They can see nothing but I am emphatic and point to a barely visible yellow sign…
“ They are there! Be careful when you pass!”
As we all approach the tracks become apparent, set wide apart at a wicked angle that eat bicycle tires with ease.
My companions look to me surprised, thank me, and walk their bikes across.
I recall three years ago thinking that my Guardian Angel had made me lag behind to watch others fall and then to be of help.
Today I look around and thank that same Angel for pulling that memory from my soul to prevent the same happening again.
10 miles on I come to a farm on the side of the road and more vivid memories return.
I stopped to talk to a farmer near the road to admire his crops, to tell him that this was “God’s Country”. That is the first time I ever used that particular phrase on that trip but I heard it so many times afterwards from locals who were proud of their home.
Today I stop at that same farm and look around, same green crops, same God’s Land, same road, but no farmer. He was old then, I wonder if he is still alive, and then ride on.
I pull into the farm where I will spend the night and look to the fields around me…it is as if I have never left…I was here for 10 hours three years ago.
I do not pretend to understand memory. Somewhere, somehow, for some reason those happenings are stored for future use.
I look to Angel and Flossie who are shuffling what appears to be a deck of cards but in fact are shimmering, flimsy, filmy clouds. With a smile from both I get some knowing winks.
I suspect those two know the truth about memory…