A Day in Green Fields
Even today, I reminisce about the times when I was a frequent bike rider in the village. I wore loose sweatpants, and most of the time, I circled the river fetching water for our homestead, which did not receive piped water.
Five cows grazed on our green acreage, plus our family of eight, which meant we needed a good volume of water. As a result, I found myself making several daily trips to the river with my older sister, yellow containers tied to the back seat. We enjoyed the stares from strangers, which gave us a sense of accomplishment.
When I was eleven, I watched my sister ride her bike. She pedaled smoothly and whizzed through the wind in an almost heavenly way. I had a strong hankering to learn how to ride. But feared gripped me each time I imagined falling on the ground at an angle and giving a mighty graze to my knees. Worse still, having my legs churned by the chain near the pedals.
“I want to learn to ride,” I shouted, trying to get my sister to stop. My heart beat a little faster as I wondered if I truly was ready. She held the bike as I heaved my body on top. I parted my legs so that my feet settled on the pedals. I had done this a couple of times before, but fear caused me to hop off. Today, however, I vowed not to back down.
“Pedal steadily, and look directly ahead of you,” my sister instructed. I wiped away all negative vibes from my mind and started pedaling slowly and steadily. I took charge of the handlebars, and a new confidence overwhelmed me. I didn’t look back to confirm if my sister was holding onto the bike to prevent me from falling. I felt a beautiful lightness as I put more weight on the pedals. A minute later, it was like I floated on the air, my legs moved so gracefully. The tonic that swept over my body was divine.
“I’m not holding the bike!” my sister shouted, her hands in the air, and an animated smile on her lips. I was a little shocked, but I had enough strength to take up a new challenge.
I turned the handlebars to change direction, and I was surprised by how easy it was. I had learned to ride a bicycle—and in just a few minutes!
It was one of the most exhilarating feelings and an achievement I will never forget. I spent the rest of the day basking in the sensation while circling the field’s massive expanse.
Now, I am thirty and swamped with responsibility, but I would jump at the chance to go cycling again. It reminds me of my childhood and the taste of achievement.