Taking my old mountain bike out on the road, this week, for the first time in…ALMOST TWENTY YEARS, has been a bit more than a treat.
DON’T ASK! I don’t know what stopped me from digging out my bike sooner, except for those years when it was kept in storage together with a whole lot of boxed stuff and furniture from my former home in Italy. After that, it followed me around, together with my other (much older) bike, a sweet old fashioned city bike, white, I was given for my eighteenth birthday. They were both sent to be repaired, refreshed, put back into shape…. and left in my garage here.
All I know is that by the time:
- I stopped thinking about the bikes, diverting – under strange pretences – my impulse to go for a ride;
- Decided unshakably and full of enthusiasm that I was going to have a good ride on my day off;
- Got up and heard, but didn’t go with, all the other sensible thoughts about perhaps catching up with paper work and house chores first;
- Made my way to the garage, dusted the mountain bike, inflated the tires, filled the water bottle and adjusted my helmet (yes, I have one of those!);
- Had a few goes round the courtyard at the back of the house – in full sight of my neighbours – to refresh my memory of the gears;
- Locked the door and went off along the canal path…
…it had been just over SEVENTEEN years plus a few additional procrastinating hours on the Wednesday morning!
Oh well, off I went…
Then it all happened. As I went off along the cycle path towards the canal, amongst the trees and bushes at the side of the river, I felt this HUGE GRIN sprawling across my face, from cheek to cheek.
I REMEMBERED, not the last time I cycled seventeen years ago, but much earlier, much much earlier, when I roamed freely on my bike (or my brother’s handed on bike) along country and woodland’s paths, sometimes along the marina at the seaside.
I – or, I should say, my body – remembered that pure joy of ‘flowing’ along for my bike adventures, not deciding where I would go and for how long, discovering new paths, feeling confident and HAPPY and CURIOUS, learning to deal with bumps and stones, inventing stories to myself, enjoying the breeze, the feeling of lightness, smiling to myself, to everybody.
This JOY penetrated my all being as I cycled on, feeling fully present, absolutely enjoying the wind, the sweetness of the September sunlight and the beauty of that canal path, the song of the birds, the distant sound of traffic up on the road, the sheer pleasure of not having to be anywhere near it! Meeting other Wednesday breakers, dog walkers, runners, cyclists along the way, my grin still there, feeling just like then, BETTER than then, because I was feeling it CONSCIOUSLY in all my cells.
A true few hours (and about five miles) of FLOW.
The body knows where flow is, where both the ‘low’ and the ‘high’ dreams are held, ready to be awakened.
This little discovery, this little act of determination, and the gift of joy stored in my body and released to me, lifted my spirit, nourished me deeply.
…WHAT ABOUT YOU?
What is YOUR experience of ‘flow’?
What stops you or helps you in your ‘flow’?
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