Took off on the bike this morning, not as early as I would have liked, but early enough that it was still cool with a pleasant breeze picking up every now and then. I wanted to take a long and leisurely ride, varying the pace and route, from busy streets to nearly deserted paths.
I got my wish, as I headed to Fairfax from Drake’s Landing with a big detour through the US 101 overpass to Larkspur then along Magnolia Avenue continuing on through Ross to San Anselmo. Once I hit the shaded tony streets of Ross I seemed to have bicycled into another world, the country of memory. Gardens along the way seemed to be calling my name in the sweet tongue of scents.
Summers from my childhood, before television, before the Internet, some spent in villages in Eastern Europe, where each day was a season unto itself. The mornings, fresh and seeded with promise. The noons, blooming with heat. The afternoons, ripe with torpor. The heat a brocade patterned with the overcooked scents of the day. The rafters in the barn where a book would take me to a new world, perhaps one like this, where I was riding on the perfectly paved streets in the gentle shade of well trimmed trees. The evenings in the flickering light of lamps and the singsong of the women’s tales. So long ago, all of it. And yet, for seconds at a time, it was all there, my younger self and the lost country, riding with me on the bike.