Water flows. Gravity takes its toll and pushes the water down, and in response the water flows. From one high point to many many low points.
Water can also cascade, trickle, or drip, but the general rule is it goes downwards. Water flows.
People flow. They go from one point to many points. Gravity doesn’t usually determine our direction, we have learned to flow around its laws and physics. Us humans can fly and we can dive. We have even learned to avoid gravity all together by passing beyond it. Flowing beyond it.
Riding through Yellowstone I found myself the pace car for an RV, a Subaru, and another motorcycle. The curves and twists in the mountains made me feel like I was a flowing molecule of water leading three other molecules. I flowed the fastest because I was the smallest and they followed behind at their speeds based on how physics interacted with their sizes.
For the first part of the ride through the mountains in Yellowstone there are trickling springs flowing from between the rocks in the mountain face. I found myself turning to look back every time I passed one. I was fascinated by the flowing water and my eyes were drawn to it.
It is interesting how us humans are drawn to things that flow. Water, mountains, movements, humans, relationships. If they don’t flow, if they are stagnant or more choppy they are avoided, except by a select few risk takers.
Gentle interruptions in the flow are generally accepted. Ebbs are setbacks in the way things flow. We all have ebbs, major or minor changes in our lives. Things will ebb, but then they will continue to flow.
As I rode through Yellowstone the traffic following me ebbed and flowed. The main causes of the ebbs were beautiful landscapes and living creatures that caught the attention of picture takers. Traffic would slow for a car that wanted to pull off or another car who wanted back into the stream. Just a bunch of water molecules attaching to the spring trickling through the mountains.
I found that as two o’clock approached the water molecules became more unbearable. Insisting on flowing faster and riding very close to the tail end of smaller molecules. After the third time of ebbing my flow (pulling onto a parking area) for a vehicle that felt the need to ride the bumper of a motorcycle without a bumper I finally gave into my urge and flipped the fancy 2013 Honda Accord off. I realized when pulling back into the stream of traffic that I allowed crappy drivers to cause choppy waters in my flow. I let them get to me in one of the prettiest places in the U.S. I brought my city attitude to the serene country around me. I didn’t like it.
I ebbed my flow at the next turnoff and parked the bike of my own volution. I got off and walked out onto a plateau. This flat spot was full of yellow grass and yellow stones. I looked up and out over a vast landscape of green pine trees. Some were dead, and looked like large sticks jutting out forty foot above the green undergrowth. The forest was littered with growth. When I loked beyond the valley of trees I saw the Mountains of Yellowstone. Some grey with green lines of flowing forest. Some red with the sheared faces of rock that had lost pieces of themselves to avalanches. Some were blue because they were so far in the distance all one could make out of them was there form.
I stood there, looking at all the colors and beauty that flowed out in front of me, and for the thousandth time that day I felt my breath catch. A surge of joy rushed through me, and the angst I had allowed myself to feel at the bad drivers of Yellowstone seemed petty. I let the bad vibes flow out and the good vibes flow in. When I felt good enough to go back to Little Wing I turned around and hiked my way back to the parking area.
On the way I met a woman who said hi to me, and I gave her a smile in response. I went to Little Wing, took out my map of the park and checked out where I was at. A lot of the park was actually closed for road construction so I pretty much knew where I was. The map was sort of just my attempt to maintain calm longer before getting back on Little Wing.
As I stood there the woman came back from her walk. I smiled at her again when we made eye contact.
“Beautiful View isn’t it?”
“Huh?” She said.
I repeated and she said “Yes it is, but isn’t all of the park the same? All beautiful views.”
I laughed and concurred and we struck up a conversation. She spoke with an accent so I asked where she was from. “France” was her response.
Turns out she was actually from Paris. When I told her I was from Minnesota she asked me where it was. I was taken aback by that. I don’t believe I had ever talked to someone who didn’t know where Minnesota was. It was a wonderfully interesting change.
Cecile, as her name turned out to be (isn’t that a lovely name?) and I spoke for awhile. We talked about traveling and our own homes, it was a lovely flowing conversation.
Right there in Yellowstone, WY I met a water molecule frim France. Isn’t it amazing how life flows?
After our encounter I continued on. I got back into the stream running through the park and made peace with my fellow water molecules.
I made it all the way through Yellowstone and into Montana yesterday. I flowed down from the mountains of Wyoming into the mountains of Montana like my very own spring.
The best part about this metaphor is that Little Wing is blue, and his tear drop gas tank looks like a rain droplet. Depending on the amount of light Little Wing resembles a sky blue or sky grey. Sometimes the blue looks like the blue waters of a prestine lake. Yesterday all I could see was the color of Little Wing flowing so naturally into.the environment around us.
I’m in Montana. I have wanted to see this state since I was twelve, and now look at me. I’m flowing through the states, ebbing, but then continuing to flow. Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and now Montana. I’m going from one point to many, meeting other molecules as I go.
Isn’t all of it the same though? All beautiful views. Ebb and flow.