Wednesday saw the return of Brompty to the bike lineup as we headed back to campus after a month-long hiatus. I love the world the folding bike opens up for me, but this girl doesn’t have the gearing to do hills with ease, and the new commute adds two hills. That isn’t a lot, but it was enough to make me nervous about how much time I’d be adding to the commute with the move, and I was happy to have a chance to get that first go out of the way. I aired up the tires, unfolded the pieces, dusted off the seat, and was on my way, reminding myself–out loud–that I was not in a hurry. As long as I remember that I’ve got time and can sit myself in the easiest gear I need my knees can take whatever hills are there. Turns out the added mile and a half was just an extra mile and a half of flowers and how-you-doin’s and neighbors and then I was back on Saint Paul, flying down the hill to the train station in maybe 10 more minutes than from the old place–that’ll work, especially with the added bonus of taking the left lane on 33rd for a turn onto Barclay. There’s something about vehicular cycling that really gets me going, especially when I’m on Brompty. Anyway, it was a long day at the office, and it turns out I was glad to be back and seeing colleagues and getting that taste of back-to-school excitement, or maybe it was just the rush of not moving anymore. And then it was a rushed ride back to Halethorpe for the ride home–this time up the hill. I reminded myself again that I was not in a hurry, and soon enough I was back where I used to start, taking a right on 27th, Waverly-bound. I made a stop along the way to pick up my biweekly bouquet. I got the ladyfriend a membership in a flower share–community-supported agriculture just keeps giving us more treats!–and that means every two weeks one of us stops by this little shop on Brentwood Avenue to pick up a surprise bouquet of flowers. I have spent most of my life thinking flowers were truly an unnecessary indulgence. Why plant flowers when you could plant food? Aren’t flowers pretty much just a way to throw money away on something that its going to die in about five seconds? I see my point, but I can’t remember a better use of my spare cash than a this deal with Local Color Flowers. I mean check out those flowers. Every other week is a sweet and beautiful surprise, and the house gets this splash of color and smell and life and joy, and it is such a treat. An indulgence, yes, but one I will give us over and over again if we can swing it. I picked out my bouquet while sharing a carnation cookie (see–you can eat flowers, too!) and sipping basil limeade with co-owner Eric Moller, chatting about how they decided to start this business that works almost exclusively with local growers (in the off season they sometimes have to go all the way to New Jersey to get the goods), and then I strapped my flowers to my bike bag using the bag flap to hold it all together and finished the short ride home feeling astounded at the riches of my life right now. Slow down, settle in, and take the hills as they come, I suppose.
Two ways I try to emulate May Sarton.. 1) Write every day. Just started the writing 20 minutes about whatever and am coming along nicely – a few good topics have been floating around untouched and now they are emerging “on paper.” 2) always have fresh flowers. I have been economizing and not having flowers but today, thank you, I will be adding color in here, even if it just a couple of wildflowers from along the road. Thanks, Miss Kate!
Have always said in response to those who consider flowers a poor way to spend money or plant seeds: it’s food for the soul.
I quake a bit at the thought of my Brompton hauling me from Halethorpe MARC station 4.5 increasingly steep uphill miles to my Catonsville abode. Specially with the C-bag in front loaded even moderately with stuff. First time I tried it I had to dismount and walk the last little bit of hill. I since realized I hadn’t been raising it’s saddle high enough. Whether that’s what made the difference, I don’t know, but this time I made it. Not easily but did it. I don’t think I could have gone one more of those hills though. If I ever decide touring by Brompton’s the way to go, I’ll be swapping out that derailleur!