Imagine the old Jazz standard “My Old Flame” but the words are changed to “My Old Bike.”
When I was twenty four, I got my first “Real Job.” It was at a computer company. I hated it and stayed two years. I didn’t know what I wanted, I didn’t seem to fit into this world, wanted to do something else but couldn’t get a job and was broke. With my first or second paycheck, I bought this bike, a Diamond Back, for $450. It was the most I’d ever paid for anything in my life (except airline tickets, tuition and books). I loved this bike like you wouldn’t believe. This bike carried me through Golden Gate Park on days of love, joy, hope, sorrow, sunshine and fog. I would go to Sutro Heights Park with this bike, lug it up the steps to the top, and look out over the vast ocean from that vantage point above Ocean Beach. (image courtesy of SF Examiner)
Seven years ago I abandoned this bike in the small town I now live in. I had nowhere to store it to protect it from the weather, and it was so broken down I couldn’t fix it.
Today, I found it, seven block from where I left it. No chain. Probably still broken. But mine. Now I have a garage, and a husband who can fix bikes. Today I am feeling better because of the integrative therapy I’ve been doing–welcoming and taking care of those parts of myself that I have neglected. It’s so strange when physical reality parallels psychic reality.
This bike, for me, represents joy. I think I may have found it again. My turn to wake the sleeping lions.
One of the Lions at the gate to Sutro Heights Park (image courtesy of SF Gate)