The mountain bike secured to the back of the van via a folding rack was a great idea, however four months into the journey this particular possession was becoming more of a burden than anything, I rode it so infrequently that I could no longer justify the considerable weight. Just as I made the decision to sell it, the buyer appeared and I feel happier and lighter – as did he, riding his new wheels around the parking lot with glee.
The income from the bike and the bit of work at the last campground was a treat, however things were going wrong with the beloved steed and my mind darkened with worry.
First to go was a recently purchased solar panel, tightly glued to the roof, after a full investigation and rewire I found it only giving half its normal output, not quite enough to keep the fridge going. Once a replacement is obtained then comes the task of removing the faulty and re-adhering the new. The second major thing causing me grief was that I needed new tyres, an expensive endeavour and without income the mind compounded thought and worry into a dark muddy sludge of internal suffering. 24 hours later I cancelled the tyre booking to try to ‘buy’ some more time.
I went deep into Great Sandy National Park, long forest roads found peace and presence seep back into my being, I had no intent of direction other than a nice quiet place to camp, I stopped at a grassy intersection – it was time to walk and to sit amongst nature. En route to my unknown location I felt thick sweaty fear oozing from me, the mind will use whatever leverage it can for attention and will hop from subject to subject keeping the one emotion in focus – in this case it was the fear that had transposed from money to snakebite in the middle of nowhere with no phone reception. I couldn’t shake it, this mind is a raging lunatic with the strength of a dozen elephants, I dragged my feet through the bog of anxiety, the mists of ignorance clouding any direction to focus and the emotive dagger of fear sporadically finding its mark between my ribs.
A clearing presented itself and I sat on the mattress of brown pine needles. I entered into a visionary meditation and while withholding the specific details I left the small grove of insight shed of fear and anxiety – an honour and love for all around me remained. Deciding not to spend the night I took the long drive back out of the forest.
Back onto sealed road, a bumpy sealed road, it felt, well, bumpy, and wavy, like on a boat at sea. On my way to the desired Rainbow Beach I pulled over and checked under the van. Both the rear shock absorbers had sheared and were not doing as advertised, I was running on springs alone. I turned around – a calm but battle scared warrior of misfortune – and headed for the nearest town of Gympie. It was Saturday afternoon, everything was closed, a rest area shortly discovered and I set up camp for the next few days.
Come Tuesday I was back on the road with sparkling fresh money concerns and a renewed sense of defeat, coupled with relief and gratitude of once again being mobile – strange strange emotions regard me with gleaming eye on this journey. I drove to Mothar Mountain and floated about in beautiful rock pools relinquishing to the present moment, the sounds of a bubbling brook and golden rays breaking through the tree tops – everything really was OK.
I returned to a phone call in the van, an old employer calling to tell me that when I am ready there is work available.