Thursday, June 02, 2005

My Brown Bicycle

Yesterday I manhandled my bicycle up the basement stairs and into the back yard. (I should've waited for Husband to get home from work but I was impatient.)

I wiped the dust from the frame and polished the leather seat. I carefully oiled the chain and pumped the tires full of the air that had leaked out over the months. I checked the brakes and the light and put on my helmet and went for a ride.

It felt like flying.

I love my bike. It's a perfect city bike - a sturdy copper-coloured Mary Poppins touring bicycle with a great big basket in front for going to the market. For the past several years I've biked everywhere in the summer. And then I went deaf.

Many deaf people ride bikes. Me, having grown up in an absolutely rural environment, I only learned to ride a bicycle in urban traffic a few years ago, and that was a challenge; the thought of navigating it while profoundly deaf was beyond daunting to downright frightening. So ultimately, for me, impossible. And all last summer I looked out the window at the gorgeous sunny days and thought about my little Mary Poppins bike sitting in the dark of the basement and missed it, and mourned that loss.

Yesterday was the first really fine day after a wet and cold spell, and I rode my bike. It was a glorious experience that brought me joy all out of proportion to the simplicity of the act. Riding a bicycle is something I'll never take for granted again.

Summer is here in earnest now. It was 30C (86F) yesterday, 31C (89F) today, with much more to come. The streets are packed with people in the evenings. Music drifts out of house and apartment windows and from gardens and patios and pubs. I look forward to this summer - to re-experiencing the sounds of this summer - more than I can possibly express.

In other news, my friend "Clemont", he of the birthday phone call from Tanzania, showed up unexpectedly at my office yesterday with a box of Belgian chocolates, picked up on his customary stop home to visit his father on his way back from Tanzania. He is so overjoyed for me and he wanted to speak to me - literally - as soon as he was able. He and his marvellous wife will be at the pub tomorrow night. I am so lucky to have such friends.



Blogger Chris Clarke said...

Yay! great story.

9:33 p.m.  

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