by zaelyna (© January 2007)
The day is calm and sunny. Only the slightest icy chill is brought on by the gentle, refreshing breeze. After I’ve woken, I feel compelled to dig my bicycle out from its wintry hibernation. The tires are worn flat, and I’m at first dissuaded from my original plan for the day, but nothing can stop me from doing what I most desire, and so I trudge to the basement in search of a tire pump. As I begin to use the device to pump life into the tires, my family returns and asks me what I’m doing. “What’s it look like?” I snap, not wanting to be disturbed from my peaceful motivations. They wouldn’t understand anyway—might as well be city-folk who’ve never seen a clear blue sky such as the one that sparkled above me.
Where to go? I wonder as my bike and I creep out from the rough driveway onto the smoother, tarred road I grew up exploring. I decide to simply let my heart do the pedaling and find myself on a road close to home that I’ve never trekked all the way down. Surprise overcomes me as I realize where leads, and I turn onto the main road, feeling happier and more refreshed than I’ve felt for at least a decade.
As the sun warms my skin, I find myself almost guilty of having too much fun alone and unaccompanied by my closest friends. But nothing can take away this sense of happiness overcoming my soul. Is it happiness? It must be. It saddens me to learn I’ve lost the true meaning of the sensation… it’s almost like my mind is waking from the longest sleep.
Despite the calendar telling the world it’s January, the wind’s breeze makes it feel like the middle of autumn. I almost wish it were, because a bike ride this wonderful with the changing leaves would’ve been a breathtaking sight.
My stomach reminds me that I didn’t have a proper breakfast and need to eat soon, and my throat screams for me to quench my thirst. I ignore both, knowing I still have a long way to go before I’m back near my house. The return journey proves difficult, as it is mostly uphill. The chills recede; I’ve stuffed my useless hat in my pocket and loosened the scarf from around my neck, and trot up the hill too steep to ride.
Cars pass—some zooming, others kindly at a slower pace. It’s almost time to decide which of the many roads I wish to take back home. I decide to take the one I veered off of at the beginning of my voyage and make it a long loop. I laugh when I realize it’s tremendously fun to go bicycling without an iPod to distract me from the sounds around me; it’s been too long since I last enjoyed listening to the natural sounds of the world.
Feeling refreshed, I cheer when I spot the red “STOP” sign ahead. Not even the chirp of my cell phone can sadden me now. I’ve reawakened the spirit inside of me that I haven’t felt since before I was a teenager and I refuse to let it go. I vow to go cycling or walking or something every day, just to have that chance to reconnect with the nature-loving spirit inside of me.
And now, typical of any teenager, I eat.