It’s been all wedding, work, and post-election hellscape, so I was happy for the confluence of a day off work and died-down winds to just spin my wheels a bit and clear my head. I started the ride heading up to Roland Park for an appointment with L., my magical acupuncturist. We talked about my sleep, my lower back, and the surprising resilience that you discover in yourself 11 months after your dad dies. An hour later I was back on my bike, treating myself to a late breakfast out, and then riding over to the park to get a break from my daily riding with cars. I wanted to just spin without that alertness that’s so normal, and so exhausting.
And that’s what I got, spinning around the reservoir and ever-so-slowly creeping up to and around the reservoir on my way toward the conservatory and the zoo, through the frisbee golf course, and down the Jones Falls Trail on the far end of the park. It was quiet, except for the rustle of the birds in the bushes and the jump of squirrels into piles of leaves. The sky was blue with just a few sketchy clouds. I passed a man doing tai chi, a couple guys playing frisbee golf (yes–people really do that), a man out for a walk with his dog, and a couple of joggers. I said my hellos and felt the relief of just getting to ride.
I snapped this picture as I pushed my bike through leaf piles on the switchbacks back up to the park from Falls Road. I love that tree, and I’ve loved it in all its stages for the past five years. It’s bare now, but I know it’ll bud and grow leaves again, in just a few months. Everything feels different right now, the mood is just different, but today I was grateful for these trees in this park that are the same. I know climate change means the trees are not really the same, but for just a bit today, I suspended disbelief long enough to feel rooted.
And then I turned around, retraced my steps, and rode home. Today I’m grateful for bicycles and Baltimore.