Glide just glide…

Our beautiful and locally made Birdseye maple farmhouse kitchen table is no longer traditional in its use. Instead it has become a workspace. Placemats have been removed, stacked and placed on a kitchen counter. The center of our table once displayed fresh tulips complimented by a white and tan pottery sugar and creamer plus a honeypot. Decorative in function as the working bowl of sugar is strategically placed beside our overburdened automatic coffee maker on a kitchen counter next to the stove. Laptops, notepads, pens and various periodicals from The New Yorker to the Vermont Standard newspaper occupy nearly half the table. Coffee cups in various stages of fullness line the side of the laptop resting on cloth napkins. The remainder of the available table space displays the early stages of a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle which has only occasionally been worked on during these past number of weeks.  On one recent occasion we disrupted the new table composition to “Zoom” with dear friends to share dinner and conversation virtually. 

Health including physical and mental wellness are so critical right now. On any given day and at any given moment of the day the priority shifts as we navigate this new, overwhelming and hopefully temporary existence.  Encountering constant yet varying degrees of anxiety over the past many weeks seems to continue to grow in anticipation of the weeks and months to come. A tough weekend as the many fears and concerns seemed to override much else. Little sleep making the early hours even darker than nature provided. The weekend felt like walking through an endless tunnel with only my thoughts echoing. Monday. Monday will be better. I try to find comfort in the elusive sense of structure of our new stay at home normal. 

 The sun finally making a genuine appearance this Monday with the temperatures nicely rising to the low 50’s I made the decision to take my gravel bike down off the rack where it has been safely stored during the winter months and take it for a ride. The decision was supported by the fact that it had been three or so days since we had last picked up our mail at the general store down the street where our PO Box is located.  It was easy to prepare my bike for the ride but preparing myself for the journey and picking up the mail was a bit more laborious and gave me pause.  I would be wearing bike gloves, a neck gator that I could lift up over both my mouth and nose as I went into the small cozy general store to quickly retrieve my mail. I am certain Smart Wool never anticipated this off-label use when they designed this article of clothing. 

Down my winding gravel driveway, I felt free and childlike. There is something about riding a bike. There is just something about riding a bike. After the first few rpm’s I looked down and noticed my paint splattered black leggings I wore for this spring inaugural bike ride and questioned my decision about not bothering to wear my official bike Lycra pants. I smiled to myself as I thought for a moment that much of who I am is captured right now and in this moment.  A painter, a want to be athlete and a lover of the outdoors. The sun was shining bright, but the wind still blows cold across Vermont fields this early April day. The headwind was strong, exhilarating…I needed it I needed to ride through it and push up against it.  Suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere a tear began to roll down my cheek protected by my sunglasses. Was it because of the wind or the unknowing release of some stress and emotion? I am still not sure…

I did remind myself today when I was tiring from riding hard against the headwind that I could rest and glide …

Glide just glide…

Author: Elizabeth Ricketson

A graduate of Providence College with a BA in English, Elizabeth Ricketson has always had a love of literature and the fine arts. Elizabeth’s essays focus on life experiences and life in Vermont.

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