No Longer There … Always Here

I decided this morning that the New Sarum Diner would be a good choice for breakfast.  As I pulled into the parking lot, I saw lots of bicycles leaning against the building.  My immediate reaction: fear.  I suspected that what I’d encounter inside would be members of the London Cycling Club.  I rode with them for years before deciding I couldn’t even keep up with the slow group.  Today I was afraid to talk to “real cyclists” about me quitting the Tour du Canada.  Gulp.

Inside I saw “Ted” and lots of other jersey wearers.  He and I got talking about mutual friends and the LCC.  What a good guy.  As I glanced around the booths, I realized that Ted was the only person I recognized.  And that gave me pause.  I was a board member, ride organizer and weekly club e-mail contributor for many years.  A couple of times I was also the MC at the annual banquet.  And now I’m unknown to almost everyone.  How strange.

I thought back to my teaching career.  Mostly I was a visiting teacher in forty different schools, working with visually impaired students.  For six years, though, I spent a lot of time in one particular school, assisting blind students.  A year or so after I retired, I dropped into that school to say hi to staff and students.  Except there were no kids left who knew me.  I walked the halls and entered the classrooms, but there were no young smiles of recognition aimed my way.  “Who’s that guy?” I sensed the kids thinking.  How strange some more.

Both of these experiences remind me to give in the present moment … and then let go.  It may be that most of my contributions to people are short-lived in the face-to-face way.  Some folks will remember me with tenderness years later but I likely won’t be in their lives anymore.  And that’s okay.

And really, why look back?  Those days are dead and gone.  Instead, what can I bring forth now, and now, and now?  What opportunities to do good in this world are there for the emerging?

On I go into my future.

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