Today was a ‘fry an egg on the asphalt’ kind of day. Incredibly hot.
I don’t know what I was thinking to head out on the bike trail so late in the day, but I knew I needed to wash the mess out of my head. Taking on miles and miles of bike trail helps to clear out my mind. I knew I needed that more than anything this Monday.
Monday actually proved to be the perfect day for me to bike, due to the lack of people and crowds. It was doggone lonely, except for the occasional biker, like myself. Thinking back, I didn’t mind the heat because it actually tested my resolve and I had to push through the uncomfortable perspiration and body ache of pedaling fast through the woods. There were moments of self-doubt and maybe a little fear, but I forged ahead and came out stronger in the end.
Yes, it was a little selfish (because I have a million other things to do), but most of the time I err on the side of not being selfish enough. Lately, it seems, I am in serious need of nurturing me, and I only have quick moments where I can squeeze in the possibility to do what I love. You see, tomorrow I will be on jury duty. Yes, out of 1,000,000 plus residents in my county, it seems I have jury duty once again.
So, my week might be shot….who knows. The last trial I was on lasted a week. A week of gruesome details and horrific crimes committed. I am happy to do my duty, but the idea of it made me positive, I should ride today.
Outside in the fresh air, moving the majority of my muscles in perpetual rhythm, and listening to amazing music, my mood began to improve. My head started out a little cloudy, but ended up in happy sunshine. On the trail, this song blasted through my earphones, and I knew it suited my mood perfectly. After stopping halfway for a snack, I cued it up for a second time, then repeated it on the drive home, and again when I showered away all of the sweat and grime of the dusty path.
Give it a listen….
“I choose my eyes wide open
and my heart half-broken everytime
over the gilded golden shackle
and the reassuring sentimental lie.
I’ve seen the rolling meadows
and the cruelest ghettos in this town.
I know the baker and the undertaker
and the girl with the stars on her gown.
But the song that sounds the best to me
is the chorus of the maple tree.
And that river bends in through the sea.
Its course is fixed and so are we,
But I’ve got sunshine,
sunshine all over me.
And brown eyes,
blue skies are all I see…”
Tyler Lyle is a Georgia native (Carrollton) and even spent some time in Atlanta’s music scene playing at Eddie’s Attic. Eddie’s Attic in Decatur is famous for bringing about fresh talent and catapulting music careers. It was the place where John Mayor, Shawn Mullins, The Indigo Girls, and Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland honed their musical talents. It makes sense to me, of course his talent would be included in the long history of that fun place.
From Georgia, to California, and now living in NYC, Tyler is developing his voice and songwriting skill. Doing a little research, I was blown away with the story around the writing of the songs for his new album, The Native Genius of Desert Plants. I won’t print the whole story here, but if you’re curious (and you should be, cause it is worth the time) then check out his bandcamp page. It gives a beautiful story of his trials and struggles and the peace he found in the surprisingly resilient desert plants. Seriously, it is an amazing personal testimony of growth and discovery. I think “Ditchdigger” was written before this journey, but clearly he took the song and perfected it. He certainly made it my ‘on repeat’ favorite. To me, the entire album is a songwriting treasure.
I learned from his story, sometimes it takes a thoughtful journey and exploration outside of the expected to bring about clarity. I find it kind of amazing that I first heard this song on my bike ride today.
Perhaps this unforeseen connection was…