The Call of the Wild

by Old Bone Machine

The ride begins in the mind. A path is imagined or re-imagined. The surface of the road, the effort of the climb, the shape and fear of the descent. As I trace the path, I feel adrenalin pulse and surge. I can. Just as the mouth waters at the suggestion of food. I feel it.

Yet as I consider this further, I understand that a part of what I have said to be untrue. For I think the ride begins elsewhere. Its source comes from another place. It comes instead from a yearning, a need to explore the inner and outer worlds. I am domesticated I realise and I cannot be otherwise but still I yearn. I want to explore and to struggle. To be challenged, regardless of whether the challenge is sanitised.

And the yearning comes from deep within us. Its pull is strong and in its pursuit one abandons family and warm comforts.

This yearning perhaps is what we call the spirit and when we ride the spirit, body and mind come together.

This is our experience.

These thoughts remind me of Jack London and of his writings. White Fang and The Call of the Wild. Favourites from my childhood.

The Wild still lingered in him and the wolf in him merely slept. (White Fang).

He was mastered by the sheer surging of life, the tidal wave of being, the perfect joy of each separate muscle, joint, and sinew in that it was everything that was not death, that it was aglow and rampant, expressing itself in movement, flying exultantly under the stars. (The Call of the Wild).

Ever bike? Now that’s something that makes life worth living!…Oh, to just grip your handlebars and lay down to it, and go ripping and tearing through streets and road, over railroad tracks and bridges, threading crowds, avoiding collisions, at twenty miles or more an hour, and wondering all the time when you’re going to smash up. Well, now, that’s something! And then go home again after three hours of it…and then to think that tomorrow I can do it all over again!  (Jack London).