Sitting outside on the deck can be relaxing and reflective. The view northwards towards Johor Bahru is a wonderful mix of tropical green, tall apartments, and bird’s eye views of people and vehicles on the move. The busy setting usually goes quiet with sunset, replaced by the sounds of the tropics mixed with a city that is still alive. The experience that comes from being in the moment, slowing down, and letting life say what it needs to say is one of renewal. One can feel the restoration working its magic within one’s soul.
Knowing that the deck is a place of rest and recovery has an unpredictable weak point. The immediate road in front is Alexandra. It is a very strait, six lane street, with only 1 stop light in the next mile. New car and motorcycle dealers can be found just to the west of this location. Anyone with a need to clear out the exhaust pipes, test the acceleration, or experience a moment of speed knows this stretch of road. Weekend and nights are open invitations. Many indulge.
It is hard to describe how loud the sound can be. Each Italian make has a distinct sound. Different bikes create unique echoes. It is as if they are the modern day proof point to an old observation; “They return when the sun goes down, they howl like coyotes, ringing the city.” (Psalm 59.14)
Initially I was torn when the road rudely interrupted my reflection. On one hand I love the sound. It takes me back to my childhood, great muscle cars, and not quite legal exhaust pipes. As familiar as it was, it was an interruption.
I have come to hear the noise differently when stillness otherwise dominates. The violent sound has taken on a different tone; it still interrupts. It also reminds me of how precious times of silence are. The reminder is also a push to embrace the restoration life offers each. Each invitation is fleeting and fragile. One past, they vanish. They are found in the moment, visible, tangible, and waiting.