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!