#SoCS: Profound and Pink

She steps out into the morning sun, a growing child of five, taking in the warmth of spring and new beginnings. The child heads to her love, a pink bike that sits in the corner of the yard, the one thing that brings adventure to her life as the tires spin across the grass and gravel. The sun beckons her down the block, across the cracks of sidewalk cement and slowly, across decades, she ages into her real self, the gray-haired woman of sixty-five who finds joy and a Cheshire smile in a lifelong passion on two wheels.

Bicycling is profound in spirit. It wraps its beating heart around the rider and propels itself forward. Through the trees and foliage of three seasons. Through the spectrum of a color wheel. Avoiding chipmunks and bunnies that dare to cross its path and with an air that wafts spring clean, summer humid and autumn leaf crunchy.

She didn’t know, that child, what a precious gift the pink bike would be in such a short time. The training wheels would eventually come off and she would outgrow a birthday present in only a few years. The child grew fast and tall and the pink bike would be replaced with others. Different sizes, different colors, different skinned knee marks with an occasional fall of clumsiness. Pink was her first love, though. Like a first doll, a first kitten, a first boy crush. One never forgets their first.

God is there on the trail, whispering in the breeze as legs and spokes and a greasy chain obey his commands. He directs with soft-spoken breath, to watch for gopher holes and soft sand. He asks that the tires stop and the rider listen to His spirit. It is all around the rider, in the thick woods, the cat-tailed marsh, the flowing stream, the clumps of green fern fronds and Queen Anne’s Lace. Warm and embracing, even on the coolest days of September.

Years pass, but profound love never dies. The child, the five-year old, wheels her way to a gangly teenage youth and then responsible adulthood. The bicycle of choice carries her through marriage, an educational job, always-there friends, religious faith, and furry faces. She finds new life, a new chapter in the “after.” After divorce, after parental loss, after employment. The little pink bike of long ago has morphed into something black and orange and fitted to her 5’8″ frame. A lasting gift from a thoughtful brother. A gift that takes her somewhere and everywhere.

The place to bike never really matters, only time and a bit of exertion. Over the years, the tires wear and are replaced, a cushioning seat and odometer added, and care is taken by a bicycle mechanic and the aging user. Upright, pedaling, moving forward, breathing existence on two wheels. Planning trips or biking on the fly. Comparing notes with the brother. Time and exertion and profound happiness.

Freedom is her mantra. Exploration is the goal. Every day in sunshine or clouds, paved or gravel trails, 10 miles or 20. The times on a bicycle precious. The years of memories stored in her mind’s eye, ready to make new. She waits now for spring, for the days of dry pavement and temperatures that don’t require long underwear and a winter jacket. She waits for the first outing, when soft muscles scream awake in delight and a tear forms from joy and allergies. A new year, new rides, a feeling that she has a hard time expressing in words. If only others could feel what she feels, what she felt long ago, a five year old child, on that little pink bike.

Along with the weekly Stream of Consciousness, this post is a response to author Teagan Geneviene at Teagan’s Books after she included the above photo with an early February post and I commented with a short fictional blurb. Teagan encouraged continuation of the comment with help from the photo, and that resulted in a mix of fiction and me. Thanks, Teagan, for a soft kick in the butt, because at times I need it. ❀

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is the brainchild of author Linda G. Hill. Every Friday, Linda provides her followers with an inspiring blogger’s prompt. It can be a word or words and sometimes bonus points are involved (my favorite). Linda asks us to write without editing, other than correcting spelling errors.

Just go with the flow.

Like a babbling brook or rain drops. Click HERE if this type of writing floats your boat or helps with your decision-making. Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is β€œpro” and use it any way you like in your post. Enjoy!

37 responses to #SoCS: Profound and Pink

  1. Dan Antion says:

    Very nicely done, Mary. I recognized the photo and I knew where you were taking us. A life’s journey on two wheels. I hope you keep enjoying that ride. Pretty soon, right? It will be warn enough pretty soon.

    I hope you have a great weekend!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanks, Dan! I’m hoping, as I do every year, for an early and warm spring so that I can get on the bike by early April. I’m not going to hold my breath on that one, but I will keep my fingers crossed! πŸ™‚

  2. Nice, Mary. πŸ‘πŸ» My first bike was blue, and I only rode while spending my summers at my grandparents’ farm. Up and down the country roads I went, stopping at the brook for a quick dip, or just checking out the neighboring farms. Good memories and simpler times. πŸ™‚

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I grew up in a small town, so it was pretty easy to get around on a bike….to the beach, to the dime store or my dad’s grocery store, or to a friend’s house a few miles away. Yes, Judy, those were simpler times and so much fun!

  3. Those who keep that childhood ‘presence and wonder’ are fortunate.
    You’ve painted a beautiful memory in vivid detail. I enjoyed ‘riding’ along!
    Glimpses of my own first bike flashed too.
    My favorite line was “A gift that takes her somewhere and everywhere.”.
    Bravo and thanks!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thank you for your kind and lovely words, Susan. There was a period in my adulthood that I didn’t have a bike (a motorcycle instead), but for the years that I did (and have now) I am so grateful for them and the experiences that went along.

  4. J-Dub says:

    Absolutely fabulous post Mary!! You took me there. I could feel the magic same as that five year old child on her first pink bike. You’ve found goodness in the ‘after’ while holding pieces of the before which is wonderful in my opinion. Ah to be young again & to be the age we are now simultaneously. ❀

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thank you, Jill! Lately, I’ve been wanting the youthful body at my current age, so I can keep biking for many years to come. But…reality…
      Anyhow, I’ll enjoy every ride this year and next and the years to come regardless of where and when and how far.

      • J-Dub says:

        That’s the spirit! I know I feel all the difference when I stay active.

  5. JoAnna says:

    Deeply beautiful and moving. Bike riding has been a constant in your life with warm memories getting you through the cold times. You remind me of how I felt about the blue ten speed I rode in high school and in my early 20s.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I remember my first bike, JoAnna, which was actually red and not pink. (I kept the pink color to stay with the photo.) I remember my dad running alongside me, without training wheels, and finally letting me go. Without a helmet! Those were the days, huh? πŸ˜‰

      • JoAnna says:

        It is a great photo. I know helmets are the way to go today, but I sure did like feeling the wind in my hair.

  6. Well done, Mary J! I’m glad you chose to explore this.
    Thanks for the mention. (And shame on WordPress for not sending me a notice — they’re supposed to do that when you link… eye roll.)
    Wishing you a beautiful weekend. Hugs.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanks Teagan! This was cathartic and joyful, and it reminded me how much I love to bike and write. Thanks again for the push.

      Evidently, WP is having an issue with pingbacks and I have no idea when that will be resolved.

      Happy Saturday and weekend!

  7. Maggie says:

    So beautifully told, Mary. I could feel the wind in my hair and adventure on the horizon.

  8. This is so beautiful Mary, I love how your first bike is braided through the story and I hope the weather will be kind enough for cycling again soon πŸ’–

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Xenia, thank you! I can feel spring coming (or is that hope?) and I heard geese and a mourning dove this week, but I know it will be 4-6 weeks before I can be outside on the bike again. I can wait. Good things come to those who wait. πŸ˜‰πŸ™‚

  9. Such a playful and thought-provoking post, Mary, nice work! I don’t think we’re done with winter yet here in Wisconsin – we’re expecting up to 18″ in our area πŸ™„. Even if your bike is calling you, it’ll have to wait patiently for a little bit longer! But then, watch out – you will be visiting as many trails as possible – enjoying the WARM wind in your face smiling all the way! πŸš΄πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸš΅πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ˜ŽπŸŒž

    • bikerchick57 says:

      When are you supposed to get 18″ of snow? We have light snow in our forecast tomorrow and Wednesday, but that can always change. Yes, it’s too early to think about biking…not until the roads and trails are free of ice and snow and the temps are in the 50’s. Then I go!

      • It looks like the snow is supposed to start late Monday through Thursday, maybe even into Friday. ❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄ You’re right, the forecast can change!
        The 50s sounds like a joyful heatwave temp right about now!!

  10. So agree, cycling is joy, no matter the color of the bike! My trusty purple steed has served me two decades and counting. πŸ™‚ I’d like to hear more of your cycling adventures.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      There will be more cycling adventures once the weather warms up, and I’ll be sure to share them here as I’ve done in the past. If you click on “The Bicycle” on my menu, there are past biking posts available. Enjoy your purple bike, Rebecca, and I hope it lasts at least another 10 years.

  11. Ally Bean says:

    A little pink bike! Oh I so wanted one, but it wasn’t in the cards for me. I like knowing about yours and will think of it whenever you share photos of your biking escapades as an adult.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Ally, my first bike was actually red (not sure how I even remember that since I can’t remember what I had for lunch two days ago), but pink went with the photo and it’s much more representative of little girls. Biking escapades will be here soon, but not until it stops snowing!

  12. Josh McD says:

    Love it! Great piece about growing up, keeping going, and faith in new adventures!

  13. Tyler james says:

    Deeply beautiful and moving. Bike riding has been a constant in your life with warm memories getting you through the cold times. You remind me of how I felt about the blue ten speed I rode in high school and in my early 20s.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.