There is nothing like an old fashioned cruiser bike, fresh air, sunshine, a bonfire with people you love and flowers, to fill up my energy stores. I am feeling so blessed and I just wanted to share.
I have been digging into how stress affects our body, how we can get adrenal fatigue after repeated bouts of high anxiety and how it is essential that we retrain our brain and our body to calm down and keep our nervous system functioning properly. With some really awful night terrors recently, I have been paying very close attention to what I need to experience joy and put myself on my own to do list.
I started by making a couple of slideshows with soft music and photographs, that I have been watching regularly. This helps to relax me before I go to sleep and throughout the day when I am stressed. I also picked up one of those single speed bicycles, tied on a wicker basket that I had in my closet and set out on my first ride this week. I only had to walk the bike up a couple of hills, on my adventure and absolutely loved the experience.
It was very much like I feel when I ride my motorcycle, with much less noise and a little more sweat. I felt like one of those European women in Italy, riding my bicycle filled with fresh produce from the local market. I took in the scenery around me, listened to the chirping birds, watched the sun duck in and out of the clouds, stopped to take photographs and observed every single interesting sight that was in my field of vision.
I passed a quiet church with yellow tulips growing out front, a solar farm, unique country homes, a fishing boat motoring quietly from a boat launch, an eagle flying out of a treetop, three chickens roaming freely in a yard, babbling creeks, rolling hills and farm fields. It was pure bliss. I wanted to capture the moments and never let them out of my memory. I wanted to bottle the peace and serenity that I felt in my heart. I didn’t want the ride to end, even though my legs were telling me otherwise.
I felt like a kid again, remembering the exhilaration of riding my green, banana seat bike that I got for my fifth birthday. I felt in the moment, alive, connected to nature, fully present, spiritual, happy, blissful and grateful. Can you imagine that a leisurely bike ride could have such an effect?
Today, I ventured out again, with my daughter and grandson as we had our own little early Mother’s Day get together. We ate a delicious meal in the yard, under an umbrella for shade. Then, we watched my hyper grandson jumping joyfully on his trampoline, had a bonfire in a round metal fire pit, snuggled in a blanket, as we roasted spider shaped hotdogs (my first time seeing such a thing) and blackened marshmallows (even though I didn’t like the melted part sticking to my fingers).
We topped the evening off with a bike ride, before sunset, to burn off some of the calories from the snacks we indulged in. Seeing the joy on my daughter’s face with her new, yellow old fashioned bike for the first time and donning our sophisticated floppy hats, to shield us from the sun, made my heart leap. She was so happy and in character, as if we had stepped back in time. The evening felt simple. It felt fun. It felt authentic.
Whether it is the bike or the nice weather or the bonfire or the sunshine, I feel like we are getting back to the way things used to be, when I was a child. We would play outside for hours; we would be active, busy and enjoying the outdoors. We would laugh. We would get dirty. We would have sun-kissed cheeks at the end of the day. My last few days, in particular, were like that.
When my daughter originally asked to stop by our house today, I said no. I said that I wanted to get out and ride or walk or do something productive. I didn’t want to sit around. I didn’t want to be stuck inside. I didn’t want to be anywhere near a television. I wanted to be fully engaged in life. I am so glad that we decided to play outside, instead.
Maybe it is the long winters around here, but having weather that is warm or sunny can bring out the kid in us again. Isn’t it time that we got back to the basics? Have you played lately? Have you jumped on a swing lately? Have you ridden your bike lately? Have you played, for the sake of playing lately?
I hope, on this glorious weekend, you get to do something outdoors that brings you joy. What makes you smile? What makes you happy? What do you like doing? What is outside that would appeal to you? Will you give yourself the pleasure of doing that or creating opportunities for any of the mothers in your life to do that? I know I sure will be. The adventure of life awaits us! What are we waiting for?
‘Children make you want to start life over.’ ~ Muhammad Ali
Let’s pretend and do that!