Writing Prompt: Write about what comes naturally...
The world went from warm to cold in a single day. I was scheduled to go bicycling with my sister-in-law last Friday, when she informed me that my niece and she had the sniffles. Afraid to catch something, I canceled the outing with them, but couldn’t quite give up the idea of one last ride of the season. I figured that cold temperatures were on the horizon, but I didn’t realize that my one last hurrah truly would be autumn’s swan song here in Vermont.
As I drove to Stowe for my solo voyage, I knew it was cooling off, but the sun was bright and I figured that the biking would keep me warm. I was wrong. When I hit the trail, the leaves continued to broadcast a kaleidoscope of color, the sky remained briskly blue, the sun put up a gallant last stand, but the mountain was already dressed in snow and the air bore its teeth. I suddenly and acutely fathomed the reason for earmuffs; my vented bicycle helmet, so welcomed only a week before, now proved shallow comfort. It was cold!
And, it was beautiful; the world was transforming!
I later learned that while I was biking, my sister-in-law and niece were up the road playing in snow that had fallen at the base of the mountain. Winter had hit Vermont, while I continued to cling to the new-found joy I had discovered only weeks before on my bike.
While my love of cycling was new, I discovered something old and forgotten peddling down the road – a feeling of freedom being in my own body, a desire to play outdoors that I had not had since I was a little girl. Back then it came so naturally. I remember sitting on my backyard swing, pumping my legs, swinging for hours. I used to take my hoppity horse, a big blue ball with rubber handle and horse head that I would ride among jumping all over my parents and grandparents two acres of lawn. When snow fell I would don my puffy snowsuit, mittens and hat and make snow angels in the cold, fluffy powder, my arms and legs waving back and forth. This was before gym class, competition, rules I didn’t understand and taunts by schoolmates and teachers. It was before I understood that you could be good or bad at something and instead simply enjoyed doing everything. My ears and fingertips were frozen by the time I finished my brisk three-mile bike ride, but my memory and love of being outside playing and exercising had thawed, going from cold to warm each time I rode my new bike. My world was transforming and, it was beautiful!