29 May 2009

perspective

money well spent

when things get to be too much, I ride. I get on my bike and I ride and ride. when my head is a mess and the house is a mess and the kids are a mess and supper is not magically appearing as I was hoping maybe it would, I head for the garage. this is where my favorite bike waits patiently for me. if I can, I ride during the magic hour when the long legs of daylight stretch out before me and the tops of the houses glow. I pedal as fast as I can. I coast, pedal and repeat. my old bike rattles and creaks like an old carnival ride which makes me love her about a hundred times more than I already do.

I ride past manicured yards and unruly ones, past papery poppies and complicated irises, past my favorite aqua-colored house and the convenience store on the corner. I collect the scents of the neighborhood as I go. grilled beef from the vietnamese restaurant down the street, laundry drying in a basement, grass wet from sprinklers, hints of honeysuckle. discarded items sit in jumbles at the end of each driveway in anticipation of trash day. a broken shovel, a tangle of white tubing, a seatless tricycle, a metal shoe rack that has obviously been replaced by a shinier, more promising shoe rack. they know they are headed for the dump but remain oddly hopeful. past trash and recycling bins I ride, past a little league game in full swish and the school playground, onto familiar and unfamiliar streets. I am always changing my route. I never take the same way twice.

it's been exactly one year since I bought this bike. best eighty dollars I ever did spend. because when I ride, things fall away. when I ride, it feels a little like flying. and when I get home, dinner still has to be made, messes still have to be cleaned up, deadlines still wait but I am a thousand pounds lighter and my mind is quiet. and that's definitely worth eighty dollars. plus all the rest of the money in the world. and then some.


p.s. all this riding has me dreaming of bicycle accessories. checkit, it's my magic three.

35 comments:

  1. oh, honey, i think i'll go climb on my old schwinn right now...right now because of you :)

    love.

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  2. sounds pretty darn perfect.

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  3. i completely agree. nothing like hopping on my bike to shake off the day.

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  4. what a great post this is.

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  5. beautiful.

    i'm off to find a bike now:)
    with a basket of course.

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  6. i am in search of my perfect bike right now. i search the paper and craigslist and am patiently waiting. living by the beach makes cruisers more expensive instead of less, sadly.

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  7. thank you...my head and house were in an insurmountable mess yesterday and i nearly gave up but i didn't...i journaled instead...i journaled about the need to find an activity that would bring me peace during my moments of mess. i am going to dust off my bike and give it a try

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  8. LOVE the wind! I can
    totally relate to this
    post. Usually, I hop
    in my truck and drive.
    Never replaced my bike
    when it was stolen. >:o(
    Maybe I should.

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  9. this reminds me of my plastic bouncing horse waiting for me whenever i was banished to the basement during a temper tantrum. that horse bounced all of my troubles away. it's long gone and i don't think they come in my size anymore sad to say.

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  10. you make life sugary sweet. keep on ridin

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  11. i never go riding on my own
    only with the fam
    (& that is pretty fun)
    but i think i might just venture on my own
    & explore new neighborhoods
    & see everything that's going on...

    thanks for the push :)

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  12. I run and feel the same way about it. Beautiful post!

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  13. thanks for taking me along on your ride...I could see and feel and smell it all !!!

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  14. that was so well written - and I too, ride the bike to escape - and to find

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  15. oh my, when I read this I thought---she should really come and visit Portland. ...and then I looked further.

    I'm so glad I stumbled here from poppytalk. your writing and art is inimitably inspiring.

    thank you.

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  16. Help a mama out practically - where are the chil'ens while mama's riding? I'd love to do the same!

    Hopeful,
    Tara

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  17. oh this post just fills me up with such joy.
    beautiful...beautiful...
    we have been talking about getting bikes...i think we simply must.

    happy weekend to you!

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  18. Brilliant...it makes me happy to read this. Thank you!

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  19. Outstanding post! I wanna bike!

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  20. I just wrote about bikes. Tey can be a life saver. xox g.

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  21. I don't even know what to say to such perfect, heart-full writing as this. Ummm.... When's your book coming out?



    Oh, one more question. Will you add this image to Le Shop? Please?

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  22. I am loving that you are referring to your bike as "her." It reminds me of sailors and the love they have for their vessels.

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  23. Think I'm going to buy a bike. Looking for a way to stay sane in those moments where everything is a mess, and you gave me a very good idea :). Thanks!

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  24. I miss the bike I had last year when I lived overseas. Haven't bought a new one yet. Maybe I need to. My rides always had the same effect on me.

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  25. I do this too! I think riding takes me back to my childhood, and that's why I find it so liberating. I feel as if I know your neighborhood now, great description!

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  26. what kind of camera do you use when you're not using a polaroid?

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  27. you inspired me to get my bike out this weekend and I went on 2 rides in 1 day :) really loved it!!

    xo

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  28. I need to get me an eight dollar bike too... I got troubles that need riding away.

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  29. What a lovely post, gorgeously written--I felt like I was there. It made me love neighborhoods and imagine older times. I'm hooked and will check back soon. Thanks!

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  30. beautiful, beautiful, beautiful

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  31. Love bicycle too! It is wonderful transportation. Especially I love rinding in this season. not too much hot nor cold.. I like strolling around with bicycle and finding new path in the city. Happy or sad, it is my great supporter. Great bicycle! :)

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  32. Amen to this sister, amen!
    xo

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  33. I totally agree, if I'm stressed about anything the best solution is to hop on my bike and cycle down a hill, my hair fluttering in the breeze. Loving your blog :)

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  34. Such a wonderful post. You have beautifully articulated how I feel about riding my bike as well. :)

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