we flew off the boardwalk traveling toward the world's edge. traveling fast. traveling free. traveling at no less than the speed of light. or at least at the speed of two tandem bicycles and a single bike with a baby seat. it seemed faster than five children and their out of shape mother should go. but the winter sky was wide open and the water was wide wonderful and it was all there before us: a new morning on a new beach. new things to discover. and the six of us were soon breathless; dripping in laughter, pedaling hard, pedaling together.
down the beach we went -- sun on our faces and the breeze at our backs. so much early energy burning off our sun-warmed heads. we went and we went. miles away, it seemed, and still we pedaled. there were things to see and stops to make. horseshoe crabs and sea-battered clams and blue crab claws scattered. we stopped and started bicycles at least a million times. our bikes cutting crystal into blue as we careened down the shoreline. sand flying, surf spraying, and me calling my mother things. “stay to the right” and “watch where you’re going!” we were pushed on by something more than our furious pedaling. is there anything quite like exploring with eager children? "these are the very moments of motherhood," i thought to myself. and i laughed as beach walkers quickly parted allowing my four bike wobbly children plenty of room. bella and i trailed behind on our more sedate baby-seated bike, throwing out smiles and, when necessary, “i’m sorrys” to the same pedestrians we passed.
another stop. another something to pick from the sand and bring to my basket. “mom, look at this shell, i can just imagine a pearl in it.” and she could. i could too. today was a day to imagine pearls. today was a pearl. today, under this wild blue above, we held treasure in our hands.
and isn't life an awful lot like a bike ride. sometimes we fly down the shoreline with incredible speed and indescribable energy. nothing to stop us. the sun warm, the sky big and our hope great. it is easy. and it is easy to be delightful in the wonderful delight of it all. but there are other times when we must turn. go a different direction and that same wind which propelled us now pushes hard against us. the bright sun blinding. and these are the times when our pedaling really counts. when our efforts really matter. these are the times when we truly must work in tandem, work as a team.
a winter beach.
a wild bike ride.
and a reminder to pedal.
to pedal fast.
to pedal hard.
but mostly, to pedal together.