For awhile now I've been going on these bike rides. I developed a route and according to the nearest driving directions I could get on mapquest it's about 8 miles. About half of it is on a bike trail, so the roads don't coincide directly.
I enjoy it.
There is the wind and breeze.
There is coasting down a slight hill.
There is fling down a medium hill.
There is that deepest breath that you actually push out the dredges of air you never reach in your lungs.
There is freedom and movement.
There is also a constant source of amusement. The people you pass while riding. Some walking, some riding, some jogging, the occasional rollerblader or family. I have been chuckling to myself every time at the varied reactions I get as I whiz by someone on the trail. Some people smile back. Some say HI. Some try no reaction at all, which is technically a reaction in itself. And some actually scowl at you!
the part that is most amusing to me is trying to figure out who will be what kind of reaction and being proven wrong on a consistent 75-90% basis.
I see a 'grumpy old man' and he looks up and smiles and says "Hello!"
I see a 'young hip jogger' and think she'll smile for sure, and she insistently stares directly ahead as if she has not even noticed nor acknowledged my presence.
I see a middle aged, slightly chunky woman walking and I think "You Go Girl!!"
I see a young guy on a bike and I wonder if I should even smile to begin with because this could land me in an episode of Criminal Minds with a bike trail stalker. But he glances at me, and I smile, and we both continue on our paths.
I wonder what people see when they look at me? When I am on flat, straight surfaces I lift my face to the sun and breeze just to feel it whosh past me. At random intervals, whenever it occurs to me, I take one of those truly deep breaths and cleanse my lungs. I often, and repeatedly, adjust my backside on my seat to try to minimize the discomfort on my 'sit bones.' (technically they are ischial tuberosities, I just looked it up)
Usually my conclusion, even as I adjust and breathe and ponder is that I simply don't honestly care what they think. I am sometimes curious because I think I would be amused by some, but I know myself well enough to know that more than one negative or critical reaction to me would result in another trip round Melancholy Mountain.
For now, I enjoy my rides. I ponder the mysteries of my heart and life. I intercede for the situations I know about. And I dream. I dream wild crazy impossible ridiculous dreams. Things that I am actually certain will NEVER happen, but I obsessively think, so I may as well dream, right? I would rather dream something ridiculous, like buying that 8 unit apartment building, than be so negative that I can't function in my everyday life. Dreaming, no matter how off the wall or ridiculous or enormous, is what keeps me going. Weeks like the one I've just finished, it is the only thing keeping me going. Well, that and the 5 children sleeping in this room who love me so freely and openly and fill a spot in my heart that no one else I know can even begin to touch. (Thanks Littles!!)