When I was little, I biked through the streets of suburbia, attempting to get lost in the maze of tract homes, all made from four different floor plans but flipped and painted to create the illusion of variety. My own house was such a nondescript shade that I couldn’t tell you if it was gray or green or blue, merely that it was on the corner of Maria and Stone Creek Drive.
Sometimes I would ride with my eyes on the sky, craning my neck to keep track of where the flocks of birds were going and attempting to modify my route through the streets to match their path above the rooftops. I imagined I was like DaVinci, studying their movements and trying to understand how they flew.
Other times, I’d race down the sidewalks and imagine that all the trees were cheering me on. They reached out to give me high fives with their overhanging branches, and I let the leaves slap against my outstretched palm, one hand gripping the handle bar, the other reaching out to receive the encouragement.
Eventually I’d park the bike behind a bush, and climb up into my tree, up into the smaller branches until I was as high as they would allow. The wind against my face felt like the world reaffirming my right to enjoy the day; I was Pocahontas, watching the horizon for any strange clouds that might come to change my life.