The air hangs heavy with the buttery fragrance of magnolia. It’s almost too much when I breath in and out up hills in the heat. Flower petals spill open, as my bike pedals spill open — and as I spill open, my sweat and joy on equal display for all the world to see. I am rocking — back and forth to mount that hill, and to the beat (in my single EarPod) of my BikeBloom Hot Town Summer in the City playlist on Spotify. Summer Breeze. I Feel the Earth Move. Free Bird. It’s all there.
My flip-flopped feet are ten years old again, and every moment of my past, present and future resounds in every sound of my bell. I feel, perhaps delusionally, like That Girl, thinking that every person in every passing motor vehicle wants whatever it is I have right now that’s making this heat bearable. That’s making life bearable.
They may just be feather-light upcycled bike tube earrings that swing from my lobes as I lollypadoodle but they take me back and forward in life. They take me places real and imagined. They take me The Long Way Home.