It’s a gorgeous evening in Spring. What is it about these sun rays that are filtering through the trees? They turn everything into one magnificent canvas. My son and I are riding our bicycles in front of our house. The smell of fresh mulch is in the air. I am glad that my son hasn’t noticed that I am not wearing my helmet. Otherwise he would make me wear it and today I need the breeze in my hair. He is wearing his helmet, knee-pads, the whole attire. A block down the road, a neighbor is mowing the lawn and its constant whir is in the background.
As we zoom down the gray road, I see an old man out for his evening walk. He sees us and pretends to run very fast to the side of the road and ducks. Then he makes a victory sign to tell us that he is safe and saved from our hurtling bicycles. I laugh hard and toss my hand in the air. My son, quite oblivious to all this, keeps pedaling furiously. On our next round, I stop and chat with the old man. I take a long, happy breath. This is such a good neighborhood.
We are circling, going up and down the slope. I ask my son to stop and look. There is a car approaching us. “There’s a car coming. What do you do?” I ask with a slight authority in my tone. “Panic!! Aaaargh!” he says with a sly look on his face. Oh well. It is hard to get one straight answer from him. He is such a rebel. I can’t help but smile. His constant attempt to try to be funny is adorable. Something tells me he will do fine.
We are still circling. Now I have lost the count of the number of rounds. The sound of the lawn mower is fading. Sometimes I am racing with him. He likes the races. Most of the time though, I am behind him, enjoying the ride. The oak trees are hovering over us, watching intently. The white dogwoods are in bloom. His face is lit up in the warm glow of the dusk. If I could take this moment and put it away in a small bottle…its essence would replenish my soul for a lifetime. I am a part of that canvas, yet wondering how the painting would be completed.
The wind is flowing harder now and I can see the pink petals of cherry trees scattered all over the road. Ah, the cherry blossom is over. My legs want to stop pedaling. “One more round!” my son shouts. “Yes!”. I will keep going…for a little while. The road is changing and curving. Finally, I stop in front of our home. It’s time to go. My son is ahead of me, he hasn’t stopped. All this while, I was cycling with him but I will let him finish this last part by himself. I keep my bicycle in the garage and sit on the steps. My eyes wander to the maple tree that is in the middle of our front yard. It is standing taller than usual, its fresh red leaves holding the promise of tomorrow.