As an author I am mesmerized to learn which sections of my book inspire readers the most. I am grateful for so much amazing positive feedback since the publication of ‘Girls Don’t Ride Motorbikes – A Spiritual Adventure Into Life’s Labyrinth’ in 2012.
In a very touching testimonial a reader shared that the description of a phone conversation with my mom healed her strained relationship to her mom. She told me that she never knew that if she would let her mom vent and not react immediately, the conversation could turn pleasant. In the past when her mom brought up criticism she reacted and created hurtful conflict instead of just listening and letting it go. The reader tried to follow my example of the conversation with my mom and she instantly experienced positive results, they were able to talk and their relationship healed.
The story that changed my reader’s life for the better!
The scene plays in Kansas, Chapter 31:
Late evening, towering clouds appeared with royal majesty and unleashed a serious downpour. I spent the night in Garden City and by 9:00 a.m. I was back on the road. My bike had been washed clean, but now relentless rain hammered like cannonballs onto my helmet. This rain was not blue, light and cleansing. Not invigorating, bringing out the scents of earth. This rain was dark and heavy. It erased the horizon and the view of lush green Kansas fields. The land around disappeared, as if it never was.
I tried to entertain my mind with spiritual thoughts, contemplated that the outside world was a reflection of the inside world. Consequently, everything I perceived revealed my inner self. ‘Was my head in the clouds? Where was the light? Was sunshine a certainty above the clouds? Why couldn’t I see the light even though I knew it was there?’ I wondered. ‘Yes,’ I thought, ‘our heads are round so that thoughts can change direction. But in this nothingness there was nowhere to go.’ The rain increased its fury and despite my mental aerobics, I had to admit that I was putting myself in danger. I was frustrated. I had to get off the road, get out of the rain.
In the next little town I pulled into the parking lot of a restaurant and ran to the entry room. I peeled myself out of my rain gear while taking a quick glance into the main room. All tables were filled and every chair at the bar was taken. The hostess looked surprised and asked, “A table for only one?”
“Yes,” I answered. She took me to a single booth next to a table with eleven properly dressed women with perfect make-up and hairdos. I put my rain gear and tank bag onto the floor and puddles of water immediately spread. I wrung out my soaked ponytail and wiped my neck dry with a napkin. The women’s conversation had stopped and they stared at me. I smiled, trying to be polite to the impolite faces. Soon their chit chat resumed.
I ordered lunch and then phoned my mom. She promptly answered.
“Thank God you are there,” I said and told her briefly about my last hours.
“Why are you doing this?” my mom asked. “Sometimes I wonder if you are my daughter. You are not afraid of the devil.”
My mom always referred to the devil when she criticized how I lived my life.
“Mom, there is no devil, only my own self and the shadows that I deconstruct when I go through these experiences. And it’s not always easy.”
“I have no idea what you are talking about. You could have stayed at home, like everyone else, married a good man, have two or three kids. Really, I would have loved to have grandchildren. And you could have had a very nice life. Now you are out there by yourself in the rain in a foreign country.”
The ideal life that my mom envisioned didn’t exist for me. I looked around and suddenly felt friendlier toward the women at the nearby table, the way they looked at me and talked quietly behind their hands. Or the old man behind the newspaper, who occasionally lifted his head and scrutinized me with furrowed brows. And the young couple at the table next to me, who seemed to be listening to my conversation. Maybe they were just trying to figure out which language I spoke.
I was the stranger, entering their world. This was not different from my own hometown, where everybody knew everybody and everybody had their noses in each other’s business. Maybe that’s why I felt agitated when I first sat down, because I knew this small town environment so well.
‘But then,’ I thought, ‘we were all just living our lives.’ I felt sure that the people around me had questions, too. Also wondered sometimes where we came from, where we would go and what life is all about. It’s part of human nature.
My mom continued to rant about how she always had to worry about me, when I went backpacking in Brazil, when I lived in Israel with the terrorism and during Desert Storm and now this. But eventually she got tired of it, as always, and we had a pleasant conversation. Every few days I sent her postcards and many had already arrived. She asked questions about the places I had seen and I was happy that she was just there. It was all I needed. We continued to talk throughout my meal until the waitress cleaned the table and then we said goodbye.
At the restaurant’s entry room, I put on my rain gear and helmet. People were turning their heads, surely wondering who this crazy person could be. I didn’t care. I chose my experiences, and I owned them, for better or for worse. The thought of taking a hotel room and surrendering to the weather was inconceivable.
I pulled back into traffic, my visor half open so that it wouldn’t fog up. Rain lashed onto my face and I exclaimed, “Rain, you cannot conquer me. Bless the hardship. Bless the struggle. Bless the rain.”
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Please check out the Tribute to my Dad. ‘A true reminder to always be conscious of the fragility of life, to not hold back on saying how much you love someone and to be grateful for every moment you share together.’ Learn why I am so grateful for my father, and how he shaped me into the woman I am today.
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