Celebrated American author and poet Mary Angelou once said, "I long as every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself." The idea of 'home' will undoubtedly elicit different reactions from different folks; I certainly have friends whose home life growing up was not a place of refuge or comfort. I am thankful that when I think of home, and returning to the place of my youth, it is with a smile and fond memories.
I have heard it said that nostalgia is the condition of forgetting all bullshit about the past and remembering only the good times, and I am likely highly guilty of the offense. However, I still think that I grew up surrounded by folks who put kids before themselves, in a time when a strong work ethic and honesty were valued more than money, in a place with a deep sense of history and pride.
The truth is that I am likely reminiscing mostly of the roof I grew up under, but in any case it doesn't detract from the fact that I love going home. It is true that we tend to eat the same things we always have, and recycle old conversations long since worn out; but being surrounded by my family fills me with an inner ease and feeling of security and acceptance not found many other places in my life. My brothers and sisters have become mothers and fathers, which I find more amusing each day as their children develop personality traits not so distant from their own. Reaching a point in life where I can look at my parents and remember them as parents to me at my age causes my respect for them to grow tenfold. Imagining my life with three growing kids under the age of ten, a mortgage, and a young marriage is hard to wrap my head around. They are amazing people.
These are just some of the thoughts among the many that rolled through my head as I pedaled thirty-five miles north through a warm spring headwind to spend Easter with my Family in Snohomish. Many proponents of travel by bicycle often speak of the power the bike possesses to create social opportunities, community and understanding between individuals from all walks of life. I agree wholehearted with the former assessment, but one of the most profound realizations I have had about traveling by human power is the opportunity it offers for reflection and self-contemplation. Hours spent spinning in the saddle lends itself easily to a wandering mind, and more and more I like the place my head arrives at the end of my journey. Just as Mary Angelou said, I seek to be at 'home' wherever I find myself and just feel much closer to that ideal when I arrive at my destination on two wheels.
That's how I roll,
section from the King/Snohomish County line to 228th St SW was still uncompleted. It is nice to see the bike infrastructure moving forward.