The Pettitfiles

Getting found in the Lost Sierra

     I suppose I shoulda realized all those years ago, that this is where I should’ve ended up and gone sooner, but knowing now, this is where I belong. I was 15 with a learners permit in wallet and a bike mechanic for a co pilot heading a meandering southern route to Mammoth mountain and my first national, but more importantly it introduced me to the Sierras. I remember a spell of amazment, giant peaks, big trees, rivers and lakes, everything a boy from Snohomish loves, but alas, no soggy rainy gray skies, just bluebird days and brilliant sunshine.  

      Broken hearts and torn dreams, scattered remnants of what use to lay between, my head and heart floated amlisly I had lost my pure passion for the bike and its people, I was integrated into the wrong folk, I was grumpy and scared, the plight of an independent rep trying to provide for a family and find the inner love and freedom the machine had always given me. A mutual lack of communication and less and less time spent together spelled the end six weeks before knots where tied and vows where made, isles where walked and a lifetime of plans where laid. Looking back with a clean conscious and piece of mind, it all happened the way it should, although I do miss the structure and foundation of love, and being in the warmth of it, there, I’m truly my best self. Hands touching the soft porclien skin of a woman, and these lips have places to go, hands and fingers twined together and my heart and soul find a counterpart worth their time and devotion.  

      Exes and counterweights, the way a 9 foot 5 weight fly rod shake, trembling in current and rings in lakes, the cool air of sunrise and sunset cast a vision felt through my core. Dancing on rocks and pounding nails, fixing bikes and riding lost Sierra trails, I’m not content, I’m in love with the lay of the land and my place amongst it, I’ll never regret that relationship ending because it brought me here, where my love and soul converge and my eyes can roam and my body can be at rest and tired from true effort. Maybe she’s out there too, a woman who’s been lost and found, hurt and bound and ready to move on. Each experience is its own sphere, planets align and stars shine, we find love and gratitude be our galaxy and keep us in place, we are all energy and currents, some bigger and brighter than the others, but energy the same. Fear is a thought that keeps us sharp but can override us in times of drought, when love and reflection have gone missing our current dries and our bright ideas and eyes die.  

      There is always contrast, west and east, country and city, nature and civilization, youth and age, heart and head, energy and wisdom, love and tragedy. To be balanced we must hold all these accountable, much more, ourselves. We all need to find our purpose, and I’ve got mine, although my personal time is cut short by bank loans and my desire to pay those back and people who believed in this endevour, but everyday I lock the doors and roll out, the tall pines and cedars welcome me amongst their limbs, embrace and envelope me in a welcoming hug. The sun shines on my face and back, a nip of cool air cools my thoughts and I’m surrounded by beauty, simplicity is the root of life, but we often spend the majority of our time fucking it up.  

      I often think of a custom made left hand band and the pride I took in wearing it and the craftsmanship of the woman who created it. Eventually all wounds heal and we gain perspective and thought, although I loved her like no other, and we co habited well together, she wasn’t the human for me, I think moving beyond that was the hardest part, the idea VS the realization, that was the biggest hump, and also realizing my allotted time in Arizona had come to an end, I’m a man for the mountains, and without them I will go crazy. In all honesty however, I do miss her mom and the artistry they shared, that’s something beautiful I’ll always carry with me.  

      I don’t know when or how we forget a dream or find it out of reach, or not worth the fear of failure, sometimes you have to pitch it some reign and let the big dog eat, do our life’s work and find our place. I’ve rarely been lonely here, I have desires like any other, but I’ve found a peace from my work and my effort, more importantly though is me downloading and helping those who honestly need it and appreciate it, all my exerpeicnes come together like the big two headed river and I’ve created a space I’ve always wanted and craved, and that fellow souls can mingle and laugh, and that makes me about he happiest mother fucker you’ve ever met.  

      The lost Sierras have found another soul, and I’ll be forever thankful, I couldn’t help but feel that this area needed me as much as I need it, it spoke to me the way love does when I fall to it, easy, all consuming and no words need to be spoken. My passion for life, people and the bikes are back and better than they’ve ever been. I miss the Rice’s, Clint, all the Ahwatukee folk a lot, those I rode with and challenged each other, my friends in Tucson to Flag, but I had to do this, and it was the best decision I’ve ever made, all those experiences we shared are now being shared with others and the stories have new voices, much like the rivers and streams joining each other and rambling on to new lands, we all cast lines and have hope, hook and snag, catch and release us, but love and gratitude is always the current.  

      I hope y’all still dream and fight the good fight, find love and gratitude, challenge and peace, and at the end and beginning of the day you have somebody to kiss and love on, keep it simple, deep breaths and little steps, we’ll all be alright.  
Night~JP. 

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