The Simple Life / by Michelle Cowan

I am officially in love with riding my bike (as if that wasn't apparent before). I hate traffic. Finally, I feel like being on my bike puts me ahead of the rest. It's freeing to know the back ways to get places, even when I do have to take my car. Getting to work by bike is a normal activity for me now, so it's no problem to two-wheel it in lieu of fighting lines at flashing stop lights and wasting precious gasoline.

Sitting in traffic makes me scream and cry and beat my steering wheel...and I mean literally. (I have the bruised forearms to prove it.) My stress levels rise that high.

In contrast, the time on my bike before and after work provides a space where I do nothing but travel. I don't think of it as exercise, and other potential daily activities don't enter my mind much. The only goal is a destination. The only objective is to stay safe on the road. Simple.

I desire simplicity more and more these days. Simple lifestyles attract me. I want to live in a community where I don't have to go far for anything essential, where my friends are near, where my interactions are not mitigated by layers of electronic facilitation. I like the idea of a few friends, a few things to do, a generous amount of time, and a whole lot of love. In many ways, the hurricane gave me a glimpse into that, and riding my bike expresses in a small way the simplicity my heart longs for. Thank you for beautiful weather and good health.

(Playing my guitar gets me back to basics, too.)