Time in a Bottle

Time In A Bottle:idea:
When I was in my late teens, I had a wonderful Schwinn ten-speed bike. It was a nice, deep ruby red, underslung handle bars, that sort bike that was the in thing in the early 1970’s.

During the summer I decided I would take a road trip via bicycle. This was one year before I made my Emergency Exit, and looking back I guess it was a warm up and precursor to it. I had no real destination, though I thought I would try to reach a small town called Clinton, which was about 60 miles north of my home.

For a few days before, I started getting things together making sure I had water bottles, a light back pack and things of that nature. In the early ‘70’s, we did not have iPods or MP3 players, or portable CD players, or even Walkmans for that matter. A major concern of mine was having some music to listen to. As I have said before, I love notes, the musical kind anyway. I just could not imagine going an entire day without music.

At the time I had a portable cassette player, if you could call it portable. It was about the size of a large dictionary and just about as heavy. I tinkered with it for a few days trying to see if I could really carry it and listen to it while riding the bike for distance. In the end I decided it wasn’t worth the effort. I opted instead for a small transistor radio.

I struck out early one Saturday morning, heading north with my sixty-mile goal ahead of me. It was a nice, sunny day, though a bit cool. I found out soon that the coolness was really an advantage. It was not long before pedaling had warmed me up a good bit.

The first ten miles were uneventful, being areas I had ridden my bike through many times, nearby subdivisions, a shopping cluster, my school, and a little town called Irmo where I had gone to elementary school, and then a hamlet called Dutch Fork where I had gone to Junior High School.

Just outside of Dutch Fork I came across a little out of the way shop in the middle of nowhere called, “The Barn.” Having gone about fifteen miles, I felt like a break was called for and this seemed like an interesting place to stop. It was a quaint little mom and pop curio shop, selling mostly polished stones and semiprecious gems in cheap settings creating key rings, rings, bracelets and a host of others trinkets.

I looked around The Barn for a little while, and then hopped back on my bike and headed on my way. About five miles further down the road, it being mid day, a wonderful tune popped up on my radio. It was “Time in a Bottle” by Jim Croce. As a pedaled down an empty, wooded stretch of country road, this wonderful song played. The sun and my work kept me warm. I think only one car passed me the entire time. There I was, alone in the world except for Jim and his soft words.

“If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I’d like to do, is to save every day ‘til eternity passes away, just to spend them with you.

If I could make days last forever, if words could make wishes come true, I’d save every day like a treasure, and then, again I would spend them with you.

But there never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do once you find them.
I’ve looked around enough to know that you’re the one I want to go through time with.

If I had a box just for wishes, and dreams that had never come true, the box would be empty except for the memory of how they were answered by you.

But there never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do once you find them.
I’ve looked around enough to know that you’re the one I want to go through time with.”

As I rode along with that song playing, I came across a small town called Prosperity. It was little more than a crossroads about twenty-five miles from home. I realized that with the return trip the entire trek would be a fifty-mile ride. Something about that song struck me. The pedaling and the song made me realize that life is life, that wishes and achievements have little effect on life itself. That there never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do once you find them.

I turned the bike around and headed home. Had I reached my goal, my wish? No, but it didn’t matter, because I had lived the day. It was just another piece of my time in a bottle.

About Sifu Keith Mosher

My new book, "Astro Boy, Sensei, and Me" is available now, as is my Sci-Fi joy ride, "On a Sphere's Edge". I have a Bachelor of Media Arts degree from USC. I have been an Audio Producer / Engineer, a Law Office Manager, and I am currently an Author and a Martial Arts Instructor.
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