Yesterday morning my 6 year old daughter and I headed off together on a bike ride. My husband got me a new bike seat and new bike tyre tubes for my poor old bike which had been left to rot under the house since having children, and he 'restored' it (the gears are still stuck in one place but never mind) for my Christmas present. Bike riding is the only form of exercise I have ever enjoyed so I was pretty excited.
Since Christmas I have been riding down to our letterbox, about 1 kilometre, and back every few mornings rediscovering my love of bike riding. The breeze, the freedom, the physical challenge, the practical aspect of getting somewhere quicker than walking and the knowledge that my heart, lungs and leg muscles are enjoying themselves too. I'm slowly building up the courage to go further up the laneway but I'm a bit scared of being run over, anyway I digress.
Yesterday Sage woke up just as I was heading off on my ride and she wanted to come. There was a slight breeze, the tree of abundance at our back door was flowering, the birds were singing and as we were riding along I was daydreaming about how perfect this scenario was. If I could whistle I would have been whistling a happy tune.
Oh yeah, why did Sam fall of his bike? .... Because Sam was a fish :-)
Sage got ahead of me, beating Mum at everything seems important at the moment, and as I looked up I saw her falling quickly, then her head went 'doink' on the metal grid, she cried loudly and hysterically.
I rode more quickly towards her, trying to stay calm, her head just hit a grid, with nothing breaking her fall, I knew that would really hurt. We left the bikes, I carried her home, there was a massive lump on her head in seconds and there was a slight cut. Oh and she was still crying very loudly and hysterically. As we walked inside I looked again at our flowering tree of abundance and thought how quickly situations can change.
After a few hot weeks of school holidays, basically being confined to the air-conditioned part of the house, I was really starting to feel like my children were the most ungrateful, wild, whingy whiny, painful creatures and I was the crankiest, most awful, fun-less mother to ever exist. So this bike ride represented a change in attitude, a new approach, an uplifting of our spirits, bonding, a commitment to enjoying the remaining week or so of holidays and then came the 'doink', the ice, the cuddles and the Panadol.
I don't know about you but I often put so much pressure on certain events, activities or occasions that it is impossible for them to live up to my expectations. I am getting better, once upon a time I might have been quietly cranky that an accident ruined my perfect moment in time, I would have repressed these emotions because they were irrational and awful, but they were real. Highly strung you might say.
The longer I live the more flexible and fluid with the flow of life I am becoming. The truth is there is hardly anything in life I can really control, when I let go of my tight grip often far more extraordinary things happen. It is a constant process of prayer and enlightenment for me to give myself over to the flow of life, and I regress often. I quietly and repetitively mumble to myself “Those who flow as life flows know they need no other force,” by Laozi, this tends to help.
Anyway, my big brave girl recovered from her fall quickly, the ice meant the wound on her head went down surprisingly quickly. It meant I got to sit and cuddle and comfort her for a long time, which was actually really lovely. The next morning she came riding with me again, without incident, and it was very beautiful and enjoyable.
I'm not sure there is a morale to this story, except life is happening every day, no matter if it is the way we expected or wanted, and there is beauty to be found in lots of situations.