Musings & Threads. Island Breezes and Life.
Island Breezes and Life
One of the characteristics that sets Key West apart from Florida is its trade winds. These steady winds keep Key West about 10 degrees cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. The winds rustling through the palm leaves provide a soothing sound. The breezes rush around me, enveloping me in warmth, relaxing my mind and body, allowing me to stop and be aware of their presence.
Every day I ride my bicycle around the island, about 7 miles. The breezes make the ride challenging when I am going against them, so I plan my route so that I ride toward them to start and end with the breezes at my back.
The wind, the beautiful colors of the ocean, the briny smell mixed with the familiar scent of suntan lotion make it a great way to get exercise. While riding against the breeze is challenging, the ride back is delightful, with the Atlantic Ocean on the left and breezes that allow me to coast and be present in the beauty. This is where it gets interesting. When I am riding with the breeze at my back, it feels as if breeze has stopped. Instead I feel like I am bicycling expert, racing down the path with little effort, even sweating a little from the sun’s rays.
And that is where it becomes a metaphor for life. When the trade winds are against me, I can feel every strain, the breeze feels so strong and daunting. But when the breeze is at my back, I think that I am just “crushing it” that I am a great cyclist. So, when the life turns against me, I strain, I suffer, it is hard, I see all of the obstacles, I want to quit. But when life is going well, I believe that it is me and I don’t turn around to appreciate all the forces and people that are making me so successful.