The Old Bicycle
In an old metal silo, long since used only for storage, my summer companion sat waiting for me. Slipping into the small door wonder and amazement fill my being; such treasures from days gone by. A sled from winters past, rusty hand plows and watering cans..all waiting there..for what I do not know. Amongst the old worn out things stood my long time friend.
The paint was worn and faded long before it became mine, but it was special to me: my pathway to freedom. In the summer sun I'd race along the gravel roads connecting my grandfather's pastures. Fields of grain whizzed past me as my feet flew over the pedals. Wisps of blond hair flew across my face- braided pig-tails flapped along behind me.
Time stands still as I lift my face to the prairie sun; my eyes close while I breathe deep the fragrance of soil and earth, grain and gravel...the cattle nearby and the heat of a summer day. My ears tune to the familiar hum of a farm: the combine churning in the distance, a bull calling to the cows, traffic from the nearby highway... the peace of a moment were no one is calling my name. Freedom for a moment.
In the late of day my companion and I ride to the fields to find the old farm truck. Grandpa must be needed an afternoon snack by now. We sit together in the shade of a lone tree... tailgate down, my legs dangle and swing while we share half a chilled melon and a jar of iced tea. His eyes twinkle as I rattle on telling the events of my day..weed pulling, my stint of mischief with the laundry on the line, how I let the water out of the sink...how far I rode my bike today without fear of getting lost. Silence settles between us as we share the still...comfort is here...just being..free.
Lingering a bit long, my bike carries me swiftly back to the farmhouse; there are chores to do and dinner to start. Grandma is waiting, but not angry...she must remember being a girl..needing little bits of freedom.
The old banana seat bike has long rusted over; lost among the old things tucked in the silo. Other cousins rode it, but no one loved it quite like me...it was my friend...my time...my freedom. If only such a simply thing as an afternoon bike ride could cleanse the cares of a day the way it did back then.