It’s a breath-taking moment as Dad hands me the keys. The bike has been well-hidden beneath dark covers for many years now, yet when we peel back the sheets to expose to sunlight, the chrome and paintwork glisten like new. I can feel an adrenaline rush rising rapidly within me. I’ve owned 22 bikes and crashed 19, but that doesn’t detract from this raw excitement. With a crazy-wide grin running three times round my head, I slip the key gently into the lock. Turn. Click. Nothing. Oh. Wrong key.
Nevertheless, in a fit of naïve optimism, I try every other key on the ring. No chance. We spend the next 2 hours searching the entire house – and you would not believe how many keys we find and in such strange places, many of which we have no idea what they are meant for. I try every one over and over in the lock, hoping desperately that by some weird magic at least one will release it; even though they are clearly the wrong type, shape and size. The stubborn lock refuses to budge an inch.
Rethink. Ah – my parents know a local car mechanic. I call him. ‘Please tell me you have a set of bolt cutters to hand’. ‘No,’ he replies, ‘but I do have an angle grinder.’ Another 2 hours later and here we are side by side, both on our knees, with shrieks of metal and a blaze of sparks flying everywhere. Pause. Wait. Clunk. The lock drops off. Awesome! An overwhelming sense of relief. ‘What do I owe you for that?’ ‘Nothing’, he replies, ‘I’m also a biker.’ Cool. Warm rush of fraternal feeling.
So here’s the thing. If at first you don’t succeed…try and try again. If your best efforts turn out to be futile, don’t give up. You may just be barking up the wrong tree (sorry - I tried really hard to think of a biker metaphor there – but couldn’t). Pray, and then have a go at lateral thinking to see what new ideas come to mind. If all else fails and you still find yourself stuck up the proverbial creek without a paddle (sorry again), reach out to others. They may just hold the key (aaargh!) to your success.
4/6/2020 04:27:25 pm
Nick, a great piece of writing. I'm with you on the "if at first you don't succeed, try try again" philosophy but probably not much good if you're a skydiver methinks!
4/6/2020 04:33:05 pm
Thanks Ian. Having had 19 motorcycle crashes to date, I can definitely attest to the 'try and try again' principle. I've never tried skydiving (and probably just as well, methinks) but I did try paragliding...and crashed with that 6 times too.
4/6/2020 04:28:06 pm
If it's meant to be we'll always find the "key" to our solution. :)
4/6/2020 04:33:52 pm
Hi Judit. Indeed...I think. Can you say a bit more about 'meant to be'?
4/6/2020 05:04:56 pm
There were situations in my life when I wanted to do something. I tried various ways and approaches and it just didn't work. While I was looking for that "one key" I just didn't seem to find it. Then I realised that it's not meant to be. I don't need to do that or not at that time at least. So I moved on.
4/6/2020 05:08:40 pm
Thanks Judit - and for illustrating honestly from personal experience. I guess my question was about the notion of 'meant to be'. It's a particular way of construing a situation or experience. A different person could say, for instance, I tried it, it didn't work, I couldn't find a solution so I gave up on it and did something else instead. Does that make sense?
4/6/2020 05:38:02 pm
Gotcha. The "meant to be"...huh...it's not easy to explain it here in a few sentences...but it gives me a good idea for a next article ;) I need to ponder about how to express it clearly in words. At the moment it's a feeling, my intuition.
4/6/2020 05:38:57 pm
Hi Judit. Excellent. Remember to send me the link!
4/6/2020 06:16:21 pm
I like your article Nick. It describes poetically the fulfilment of our dreams. In our journey, we develop strength, persistence, faith and... meet some nice people too. Thank you!
4/6/2020 06:19:47 pm
Thank you, Clau. Well said! The bike represents a special fulfilment of a dream for me because, although I love motorcycles and have owned 22 in the past, I have chosen not to spend money on such 'luxuries' for some time now, preferring instead to do whatever I can to support the poor. Then this bike came to me unexpectedly as a gift, without cost. Truly a gift from God!
4/6/2020 06:50:08 pm
Woow!! Nice! It's a reward because of your good actions. I'm truly glad for you 😄
4/6/2020 06:51:58 pm
Thanks Clau! I tend to think of such things as a sign of God's grace, rather than as a reward for anything I might do or achieve. Whatever the case, I can't wait to get the bike on the road! :)
4/6/2020 08:48:38 pm
I love it!!! Such a great deeper meaning but written so comically 🤣 That must’ve been such a sinking moment when you tried the first key!!
4/6/2020 09:02:29 pm
Thank you, Hannah. :) Yes, and the sinking feeling got deeper with each subsequent key that wouldn't fit. I lost count of how many keys I tried in the end...and how many times I tried each key again - just in case. You can imagine the relief when we finally gave up and managed to cut the chain off instead!
4/6/2020 09:06:29 pm
Awww that’s so sad!! I’m very happy that you found a solution though!!
4/6/2020 09:13:35 pm
Thanks Hannah. Yes, it reminds me of a quotation from Doyle in an old TV series called The Professionals: ‘Never use ingenuity when brute force and ignorance will suffice.’ 🤪
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