Stories

Life Marches On

February 3, 2020

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Life Marches On

“Life is beautiful, and it is marching on.”

Zahra Candy

I was born and raised in the countryside. Always so close to Mother Nature, everything was full of life, almost surreal.

During childhood, the grassy fields around our home were the perfect spot for bicycling. We would spend hours riding on those lush surfaces.

One day, when I was five years old, I watched as my elder brother and sister giggled and waved their hands in the air after taking them off their handlebars. I was impressed by these “tricks,” so when my brother asked if I wanted to give it a try, I nodded nervously, but eagerly.

In my mind, I kept thinking that I would fall off the bike and hurt myself, but I was also desperate to impress my older siblings.

Here I go!

I sat on the saddle and tried to focus, timidly placing my right foot on the pedal, ready to push forward for momentum. Easy enough, right?

Sure, but instead of pushing the other pedal with my left foot, I pushed forward and kept my right foot on the ground. Apparently, I hadn’t gotten rid of my fear of falling!

After a few sessions repeating this same maneuver, I somehow managed to actually ride the bicycle. Now, my attention shifted to impressing my mom and dad with my “magical, jaw-dropping” trick, which simply involved removing the water bottle from the downtube while I rode.

Once everyone had gathered around to watch my impressiveness, I began pedaling to gain speed. Then, it was time to rock it.

I took one of my hands off of my handlebars, reached down toward the water bottle, and the next thing I remember after regaining my senses was lying on the ground. Everyone was standing around me, giggling. At that point, I realized my little “magical trick” had made me the laughing stock.

What a bittersweet moment! Even many years later, it still feels funny—and embarrassing—to think about.

However, cycling has helped me realize that I have to keep pedaling forward, because life moves on. Sometimes it passes quickly, other times slowly, but it always marches forward, and we can never stop or reverse it.

Today, I’ve graduated from University and settled into a big, noisy, crowded city, but I still think back to those “full of life” memories frequently. And whenever I get a chance to relive them, I don’t let them go.

Life is beautiful, and it is marching on. 

Zahra Candy is a freelance writer.
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