Thursday, June 3, 2010

Twenty Miles

Twenty miles. That's how far I rode on my bike this morning with three other women who live in my neighborhood. Our journey commenced at 8:30 A.M. and we finished up about two hours later, feeling tired, our legs somewhat shaky, but definitely empowered.

It's funny, but as I rode along, I was a child again. I could hear the birds singing cheerfully overhead through the trees, see the squirrels darting quickly across the lane in order to get out of our way, and smell the sweet scent of honeysuckle bushes that seemed to be bursting with their yellow color and intoxicating aroma. The overall picture reminded me of when I was a ten-year-old girl, peddling my bike and humming to myself, and wondering what I'd be like as an adult. Where would I live? Would I get married? Have babies? As a young girl, I'm sure I'd never thought it possible for someone at my age to ride a bike for twenty miles!

We stopped only briefly, and only twice, to quench our thirst. Then it was back to cycling again. Like a jet engine, the time just flew by. The warm wind that whistled past my ears and tried to evaporate the droplets of water along my forehead was a much needed bonus as we pushed forward in the rising temperatures. While peddling hard and feeling the small bumps in the road that popped up almost without warning beneath my tires - keeping me ever vigilant and always on my guard - I was that little girl again. Back then, I held on tightly to those handle bars.

And I held on ever so tightly today, too.

Today was so incredibly freeing, and uplifting, and it provided me with a gift: to laugh with others, to enjoy the scenery, and to just let go for awhile. For a period of time, this child was without any cares or worries. And you know, it felt extraordinarily good.

As we finished up the trip and were just a few hundred feet from our starting point, the cars which had been parked in the parking lot became larger with each peddle stroke. We'd completed our twenty miles, and even though there were some bumps along the way which made me grip the handle bars a little tighter and slow down at times, I'd made it. The journey was over, and instead of feeling like that child who wonders about her future, I was the grown woman who cherishes each moment. Twenty miles may seem like an impossible distance to travel, but as I prepare for the days ahead, I know that there will be the warm breeze that I'll need to propel forward and face the challenges. And I'll stop for a moment at intervals, to get my bearings, and more importantly, to rehydrate my parched and shaking soul.

The wonderful thing is that I'm ready to get on that bike and do it all over again someday real soon, one peddle stoke of life at a time.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Congratulations on your twenty mile trek!!

I enjoyed this post.