Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Rediscovered Joy

When I was ten or so my parents gave me a Royce-Union three-speed bike. I loved that thing! Riding it to school, to the ice cream shop, to friends' houses, or just with my sister around the neighborhood I was happiest when astride my wheels.

While I have had other bikes and did ride now and again I've been given the gift of rediscovered joy this summer. Tom gave me a good bike for my birthday and I've been riding all over.

Our area is known for its intricate bike path system, most particularly the off road trails that lead through woods, along the sparkling Willamette, through gorgeous verdant parks, and along wildflower hugged canals. Shade or sun. A biker has her pick.

Cassie, Caroline, and I just returned from a fifteen mile ride. Besides mailing letters in town, we rode on secluded paths through the trees on curving paths and straight, beside wild, dry, grassy fields, and alongside cool, shady streams. The river to the south of us kept melody.

On the way home, we sat on a wooden bench under a shade tree where we listened to the riffles of the glittering water as we watched hawks soar overhead. Two rafts full of tween aged kids - one full of energetic boys, one full of laughing girls - drifted by while their guides taught the children how to paddle. We waved from the shore a friendly wave that was returned.

Today is supposed to grow hot for our area but this morning belonged to the early risers, the ones who ventured outdoors with the sunrise. The joggers. The walkers. The bicyclists like us.

Though my legs are shaky there is that familiar sense of inner peace that flows through my body after it has exerted itself. Surpassing age.

I feel just like I did after riding my Royce-Union. Only now I get to come home and make whatever I want for lunch - I don't have to wait for Mom.

We're having tacos!

12 comments:

tshsmom said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

Wow, a bike with FENDERS! I found one a few years ago too. Now I just need to take the time to ride it again.

Cherie said...

Thanks, Tshs. My birthday was weeks earlier so I've enjoyed my bike for awhile. Yes, the fenders make me happy. I hate getting that brown streak up my back from mud and rain, not to mention splatters on my face. And here where I live, there's lots of opportunity for such streaking.

I hope you get your bike out soon - it feels fantastic!

Gardenia said...

Very nice post - a sweet reminder of how wonderful it was to be outside, free, riding bikes - that's why we were in shape as kids!!!!

Anonymous said...

Loved the bike riding comments. I'm 82 now and still bike riding every day we're home -- still feeling the joy that I did when I was a teenager. How I thank the Lord I can still enjoy this special pleasure!! Love you - AJ

Cherie said...

Gardenia: Yes, that's probably why we were in shape! All that outdoor FUN that today is called exercise.

AJ: I actually got goose bumps reading this comment from you. THIS is inspiration. I thank God with you that He's been so gracious to you and UF. And that you are the type of person who goes after life with the attitude of enjoyment and relish. I'm still trying to catch up! ;)

Deanna said...

What fun! Tim just fixed up a bike for me, and I almost took it out for a long spin today, but it was getting hot... Sometime we oughta ride to each other's houses (or meet in the middle)!

thebookbaglady said...

Sounds like great fun! I love those river trails and have enjoyed some rides there on my sister's bike. My bike is a knee killer. :-)

His Love is the Theme of My Song said...

What a wonderful post! You made me zip back to the '60's, and that wonderful time when we so enjoyed being outside, doing so many things in our neighborhood! Bike riding was always my favorite. I can still see your old Royce Union bike...

Happy Trails!

Cherie said...

Yeah, Deanna, that would be fun!!

BBL: Knee killer bikes are the worse - except for maybe bum killer bikes.

HLITTOFS: And I can see you on your bike right next to me!! What fun we had. Remember intentionally getting lost to see if we could find our way home? We always did. Cinchy!

patti said...

I got a bike like that when I was about 12. Happy belated birthday!

Cherie said...

Thanks, Patti!!

Annie said...

I like this post!