It is not as big a deal as I thought it would be–getting older. But I still love noticing things that smack me into feeling what it was like to be new here. One of those things is riding a bike. I was out riding Mercer Island with Rachel S earlier this summer. I got out of the saddle to pedal hard up a hill, and caught a glimpse of her also up and climbing against a leafy backdrop and BAM! Like THAT, I’m in Scenic Hills north of Memphis, cresting the hill and coasting down Dumbarton Road launching past split level ranch houses and flying around the cove. Heaven for a bike-riding twelve year old and her pals.
And then there is climbing a tree. I don’t have to go far up. Just getting my head up into the branches. Perching in particular. Looking down on people and being a little hidden, like I did to avoid piano lessons with the neighborhood teenage prodigy pianist. Up the magnolia and not coming down! Once I’m surrounded by those big glossy leaves, I’m 50 or 10, it doesn’t really matter.
And then there is any date with Madeline. This four-year-old in my life means I find myself on playgrounds, or in any setting really since wherever we are is a playground. I am enlisted to crawl around, under, through, on top of things. Pretending this is that, Sleeping here. Eating there. Riding this. Visiting over there, coming back home here. Seeing these nooks and places with her loaned imagination enriches them and has me doing a ton of climbing, bending, tunneling, scooting.
I like this kind of thing. Good to know it’s so easy to get.