"I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you."

Monday, May 16, 2011


Last week I bought a bicycle. I haven't owned a bike since I was maybe 10. Making my purchase, I pictured scenes of summer; riding near the beach on a warm summer day, biking to get a Popsicle.
I figured I'd ride it on and off when it was nice out.  As it turns out, it will be wonderful for those very things I pictured. What I didn't figure was that it is, to my pleasant surprise, good for so much more.
 One summer when I was about nine or ten, I spent my days playing cards on the shady front lawn of my neighborhood friend's house, chasing the ice cream truck with her and saving money to buy candy at the liquor store. Those wonderful lazy days we spent our time alternated between her house and mine and on all the tree lined streets in between. We owned the neighborhood and were free to make our own days and go where we liked because we had bikes. On our bikes we were free and independent, as free as any ten year-olds could be. Riding was fun and it was a means to explore and feel like we had the chance to make of the world what we wanted of it.
A few years later as a teenager I became less interesting in riding a bike and of course more interested in driving a car and riding in my friend's cars while they drove. We found freedom and a thrill in riding once again, but this time a little faster and further. But the thing about driving is, it eventually becomes a chore. Traffic, commuting, siting in a car for hours becomes tedious instead of liberating. We hardly take notice or pleasure in our surrounds, failing to enjoy the journey and focusing instead on our time and hurry and wanted destination. Unfortunately so many things become tedious like this or lose their simple pleasure or appeal as we get older. To my very happy discovery, riding a bike is not one of those.
I've ridden my bike every day since I got it, and what a pleasure its been. I feel like a kid again, the wind in my hair, looking up at the sky and noticing the trees and the clouds.
And as a completely independent, car driving adult, able to go wherever, whenever, I surprisingly and quite unabashedly feel freer than I've felt in a long, long time.

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