I ran into insomnia at a pretty early age. From about ten years old on, I would wake up in the middle of the night. I have no idea why. Maybe it was because I was a pretty intense little kid, maybe because my family life was exceedingly complex, who knows? It certainly wasn’t anything for which I was taken to a doctor, it was simply considered part of who I was. And anyway I had my own cure. Whether it be 3 am or 4 am, whenever my eyes popped open like a fast camera shutter, I’d throw on some pants and a top, quickly don a pair of shoes, grab my bike and ride through the dark and utterly silent streets of what was then still a very small town. The whole town felt like it belonged to me. I felt powerful and almost like I was magic.
All these years later, there is still no ride, carnival or automobile, that can give me the thrill of the first downward push of a pedal and the resulting glide down my driveway as I begin a new adventure. I am in that discrete moment as fully ten years old as grown woman. I feel powerful and dare I say it? Maybe a little bit magic.
My bike was the very first thing in the world that made me feel free. It still makes me feel that way.
I’ve biked all over the world by now: Vietnam, France, Luxembourg, Germany, Holland, Brussels, Italy, and this fall I will bike in Hungary and Slovakia . Mostly however, I bike here, in the New England town where I live and the surrounding area.
I drink in the day lilies, bachelor buttons, Queen Anne’s lace and butter and eggs, along with other wildflowers whose names I never learned, as they blossom to my left and my right on any given trail. I’ll stop to take photos of something new and lovely. I’ll purchase fresh vegetables at a farm stand. I smile at people; most often without knowing I am smiling…until I see all these doughty New Englanders are looking surprised and smiling back.
I’m thinking about all of this now because my bike has also always been one of my favorite places to think. The steady sound of tires on the road, the perfect cadence of alternate legs, and the sun on my face together lend themselves to ideas forming and growing. This is where the majority of my blog entries begin. , my thoughts generally moving as easily and rhythmically as my feet pedal.
Somehow, right now, something is different. This summer I don’t want to think, I simply want to do. I don’t want to multi-task, I just want to ride.
And telling you all of this is by way of explanation. I am going to step back from blogging and trying to puzzle things out for myself, for a little bit anyway, and just try to be.
I hope you’ll come back to read this little blog when I return, likely sometime this fall. I am so grateful for all of you who read this and for the always generous and kind feedback you have given me. I have treasured every bit of this particular adventure.
For some reason though, right now seems to be the time to power down all the questioning and wondering.
And just ride.
Until soon… and thank you so much.