Incarnations of my lifetime travel with me

Clyde Davis: Local Columnist

My family is now five weeks away from our Austin trip and the Ride for the Roses.

Much of the time, Janice and I ride together. Since I am planning a longer ride than she is, there are times when I train by myself. However, this does not mean that I am alone.

Each time I ride, two fellows go with me.

One is a pudgy kid, in the summer between his 11th and 12th years, wearing horn-rimmed glasses, a baseball cap, and who is permanently attached to a catcher’s mitt.

The other, a wiry 21-year-old with shoulder-length hair and wire-rimmed glasses, doesn’t have much patience with the little fellow — or me, for that matter.

Both, of course, are this writer at an earlier stage of life.
Neither guy understands the two bicycles I use.

For the pudgy kid, a bike is transportation and, since neither the mountain bike nor the road bike has a luggage rack, their use is limited. He does like the mountain bike — it looks awfully durable, and since one of his favorite things to do on any bike is ride it downhill with no brakes, durability is good (he’s yet to learn that his body has limits on durability) but with no luggage rack, where do you strap your stuff?

The wiry college kid prefers the road bike, though he sees the usefulness of the mountain bike, particularly in getting to difficult places. However, he does not feel that I or the pudgy kid have any place on the slender road bike. He’s always telling us we’re too fat and that we’ll probably break it.
Neither one understands the concept of training for the Austin ride.

At their ages, you simply go out and do it; sore muscles are something reserved for old people. I try to tell them that at our age, we have to train. The pudgy kid just looks at me incredulously and the 21 year old rolls his eyes, lips pursed; in their world, WE are old people and we will pay if we don’t prepare for it.

I tell them to just shut up and get on the bike.
Well, that’s one thing we all have in common. We’d all rather ride our bikes than just about anything except, maybe, swimming.

However, the fact that we ride most often with a girl is puzzling.

The 11-year-old barely notices girls to be any different. The college kid, while fully aware of girls, doesn’t let them too much into the athletic part of his life — except for that crosscountry runner he dated for a while.

Neither one can comprehend that this girl is also my best friend.

However, we do have different abilities in the way of focusing.

The little guy doesn’t even know the meaning of the word; it sounds too much like what they tell you to do in school.
As to the 21-year-old, his focus is usually on the future; he’s realizing something the pudgy kid hasn’t yet, that life has infinite possibilities. The thing I can’t get him to do is focus on the stretch of road just ahead instead of the unseen part way around the bend.

The thing he has to keep reminding me is that, even when you’re old people, there are still infinite possibilities.

The thing the 11-year-old has to keep telling us is to take time to enjoy life instead of analyzing it.

So who are the people — I mean, the previous incarnations of your lifetime — who move with you at particular times, and what is their dialogue with you like ?

I don’t think this is what they mean in Santa Fe by “past lives regression,” but it sure seems more plausible.

Clyde Davis is pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Portales and an instructor at Eastern New Mexico University. He can be contacted at: