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Brings me joy
December Reflections Day 10
There are many things that bring me joy – hanging out with my husband, girlfriend time, family time, cuddling my cat, bicycle rides and walks by the sea, colorful food, photography, candlelight, music that fits the mood, sparkly Christmas decorations, web design, al fresco journaling, washi tape & stickers, growing herbs, Ted Lasso! – and what strikes me is that many of these are about ordinary moments. While big events and fun adventures are exciting, I believe it is the daily joy of the small things that makes life rich and meaningful.
One consistent source of joy throughout my life has been bicycling. I learned it early on and spent most of my childhood cycling to school and around town. As a teenager my mom added a child seat to the front of my bike so that I could take my younger sister (I was 13 when she was born) with me. Every Sunday my mom would give me money to get sweets at the Kiosk and I would pack up my sister and go for a long ride around the Stadtwald, Cologne’s amazing, huge city park. This no doubt gave my mom a much needed break, but it was also a ritual that my sister and I treasured and we did this until she became too big for the seat.
Between my 20s and mid 50s I moved a lot! And wherever I went, my bicycle came with me. My favorite was my black city cruiser that I had for 17 years before it was sadly stolen. I loved that bike and and have cycled it around Bath, London, Cologne, Northampton in Massachusetts, New York City, Vancouver, and of course Bellingham. When we moved to Europe I even got a hidden hitch for my Beetle so that I could put a bike carrier on it, I still use that today.
When my bicycle was stolen I was devastated but eventually I decided to invest in an eBike and that was one of my best decisions ever! It looks very similar to my old bicycle and I love, love the pedal assist! It was a game changer for cycling around Bellingham which is quite hilly. These days I have a new weekend ritual: cycling to the Farmer’s Market where I get my favorite salami pretzel sandwich and a coffee, and from there along the seaside trail to either Boulevard Park or Marine Park, where I stop for a little picnic (I always carry a picnic blanket on the bike rack) and some al fresco journaling.
What I realize as I look at these photos is that bicycling in nature doesn’t just bring me a lot of joy, it also brings me peace. The combination of gently moving my body, breathing in the fresh air and enjoying the beautiful scenery gives my busy brain a welcome break. When I am on my bicycle I fully immerse myself into the moment where nothing matters other than the sheer joy of the beauty around me and the peace of being in my body and soul.
I hope you enjoyed this little excursion into my bicycle chronicles :-)
Thank you for reading!