|To actually stop and smell these flowers|
Today I rode my bicycle to work as slowly as possible. OK, not slo-mo, slow race, barely moving slow, but still really, really slow. It wasn't because I was avoiding anything or wanted to get to work late. It was a feeling: my feet slowed down, I was whistling "Let It Be," and I needed to go sloooow. Like, a kid with training wheels racing his little sister on her tricycle and their neighbor on the Big Wheel would have dropped me effortlessly, slow. This slow:
Always the goal-setter, I put some ambitious tasks before myself for my Slow Ride Project:
- to feel dappled tree shade caress my skin,
- to sense the wind-brush evaporatively cooling even on a hot morning,
- to stop and smell the flowers pictured above,
- to whistle "Let It Be" accurately from beginning to end,
- to eavesdrop on the quail chortling in the undergrowth,
- to pause and observe the baby ducks preening in the shallows along the canal.
The canal water running through the structure where the heron sits held my attention for a minute or two: the swirling changing waves and eddies, splash and mist, the vivid and hyper-real sunlight glinting off droplets arcing and re-entering the flow.
Out in front of me, half a block away, an approaching cyclist turned left off the main road as an SUV was flupping a U inside-out maybe not seeing the cyclist at all but how could he not and cyclist avoiding, yelling, moving out of the way, riding on, was it him, was I him, was he me, driver, driver, let it be, let it be. Words of wisdom I was whistling on my slow slow ride.
It took me longer to ride to work today than the day I got a flat on my rear tire and had trouble getting everything put back together and my hands were a gory chain-grease mess and the tire wouldn't hold air and I had to keep pumping it up. Longer than that. A personal record to be proud of. Today I rode my bike to work as slowly as possible, and loved it.