I think too much, about things that matter, things that don't. I over-analyze, I furl my brow. I am confused by the words and actions of people, government, and religion. I'll never understand a human's ability to hurt another human. And although it is a naive morsel of my childhood ideology, I will always believe somewhere, somehow, that we are all innately good.
The only time my brow isn't in danger of being furled is when I ride my bike, any one of them, for even a slow roll around the block. One pedal stroke and my eyes brighten, the corners of my mouth turn up, my muscles engage, the freckles on my forehead find their way out the of the creases, my brow unfurls.
My brow unfurls because riding my bike makes me feel alive. It brightens my day and excites my mind. It affords me the luxury of being outside when many are behind the window of a car. It reminds me I won't melt, won't likely freeze and can easily come clean.
My brow unfurls because for a short time I believe there is an answer to the world's problems. I imagine a world where everyone moves a little slower, smiles and waves because they want to, because they know their community, because they are a part of it, because they ride their bike in it. I imagine a world of healthy, happy, powerful people. I imagine a world with clean air and quiet bike paths. And I imagine that it all starts with a few pedal strokes, my pedal strokes.
My brow unfurls because the rhythm of the rolling wheels accompanied by the knowledge that it is my power facilitating this motion takes my breath away. I breath deep. My body warms, my skin moistens and flushes, my heart pounds. I push harder. I breath deeper. My mind is clear, I am powerful. I keep pedaling. I smile and look ahead. I climb. I explode my belly trying to pull in every last bit of breath. I look ahead. I try to catch the big kids. I push with my legs and pull with my arms. I breath deep. I keep pedaling. I look ahead. I push harder. I push with my legs and pull with my arms. And everyday as I get a little closer, the big kids get a little bigger.
My brow unfurls because I ride my bike.
So this is why I share, with sincere intention, the gentle suggestion that you try pedaling a bike. And if you catch me with my brow furled, don't ask of my concern, simply send me on my way, rolling on two wheels. For it isn't the wind, the freezing cold, the road grit, or the weight of the pack on my back that will age me, but the infinitely deeper marks of my furlable brow.