Today Chelanne is hosting at Books4Learning.
And Yea, Summer Poetry Exchange! My second poetry partner was Joy Acey for the poetry exchange organized by Tabatha Yeatts. If you haven't done this exchange in the summer, certainly check out the abbreviated winter exchange and then next summer's exchange. It is so much fun!
I wrote the poem below for Joy. I searched her website and found that she had a beautiful photo of the westernmost lighthouse in the USA, Kilauea Lighthouse in Hawaii, where Joy lives:
I happen to live in the opposite corner of the world, where just up the coast is the easternmost lighthouse in the USA at Quoddy Head State Park in Lubec, Maine:
As the lighthouse
Sending its beam
Across the waters
In the night
And through the fog
Of those it touches
At just the right time -
So is the writer’s pen.
By Donna JT Smith, June 16, 2016
And now for the motorcycle updates:
My newest bike in the growing herd, the Honda Shadow Aero 750... has now acquired the license plate "Daisy", having had it transferred from the Suzuki Burgman scooter. I will be selling the 400cc scooter and my learners' bike, the Yamaha Virago 250cc. Each was a short but, I feel, necessary step in my journey to becoming a full-fledged motorcyclist. I maybe could have skipped the Burgman, but it was still good for a couple of rides to feel the movement without having to think about gears yet. But the Virago was the perfect bike to get me going. I will always have a special place in my heart for it!
ride with "soft eyes", keeping your vision open and not single-minded focus.
A few days ago, I took my first public road ride on a very small stretch of road from the old Naval Air Station parking lot out to a small shopping center that abuts the Starbucks parking lot. My husband and son dropped me off at the old airbase parking lot to practice all alone on the much bigger, heavier and more powerful Shadow 750. They said when I was done, they'd be at SB if I felt up to driving it over, or they would pick me up at the parking lot when I called. I just nodded. I would be calling shortly.
I practiced turns and clutch, stopping and starting, rode a little on the very quiet roads in their connecting parking lots... and then made the BOLD move, out to the public main road through two controlled intersections about 100 yards then into the busy shopping center parking lot. I parked the bike right up close to the parking lot for SB, and walked over to claim my victory coffee!
I have since, ridden three times in our small, rural development where I have met one walker and a fawn. Not much traffic here. Not much going on in here, except for that one wild 65 year old woman riding a red motorcycle - oh, wait, that would be me!
The inevitable happened Wednesday morning while on our small association road.
I dropped the bike.
I was stopped and attempting a very tight turn on an uphill at our mailboxes - a turn my son told me "You should not be doing. No one would do that turn."
Ok. I learned another thing.
If it's too hard, don't do it. Don't force it. It was another horseback riding lesson really... being "intense" vs having "intent".
I called a neighbor who kindly came and helped me right the bike...no damage to the bike. I was okay, too. Well, except for that nasty knee that wasn't quite healed from the train platform landing fiasco. I opened up the fresh, thin skin, as I knelt on it to get up. So we are doing that all over again! Oh, well, it could have been worse. Just taught me that my priorities for starting up on a hill should be foot brake first, but only if I'm in first gear! Sorry, for all that technical stuff for those of you who don't ride a motorcycle... wait! Who here does ride? Anyone else out there?
Wednesday afternoon, my son called me and asked if I wanted to ride to Starbucks. He'd come out and take my 750cc bike to his house in town, or I could use the small 250cc, and we could ride the five miles from there to get coffee. I hesitated and looked at my knee. I made all sorts of excuses in my head, and quickly took all sorts of body assessments, before hearing my voice say, "Yes, and I want to take the 750".
What? I said what?
And I got my boots, jacket, gloves and helmet.
And we did it. I did it.
Bonus trip! Last night I rode with my husband and son from our house, down the one main road on the island to Five Islands dock, got a soda, and then headed back home. 7 miles down, 7 back (funny how that works). Hills. Curves. Narrow roads. Traffic galore - lots of tourists. Two dogs in the road. People standing and talking in the road (we ARE in Maine). We made it to the ocean and back. It was tense at times for me, and I had to keep reminding myself to relax my legs, my arms, my shoulders...even my jaw. And each time I relaxed, I had fun.
|Who is that platinum blonde with the red motorcycle?|
I hope someday, that each of us can find a new thing at an old time, and embrace it. What will your "new thing" be?
More things to learn,
More stuff to do,
More sweet adventures,
More growth for you -
Hold on, let go,
Just have some fun;
It's safe to say -
You're not yet done.
Donna JT Smith, 2016