If both of us could clearly see,
And with an inner sight divine
The meaning of your heart and mine,
I’m sure that we would differ less
And clasp our hands in friendliness;
Our thoughts would pleasantly agree
If I knew you and you knew me.”
Nixon Waterman, To Know All Is To Forgive All
That’s why I like the above poem. It gives me some perspective and keeps me from being too critical.
Now, I have plenty of stories to back up my perspective and I’m going to tell you one.
This was in Ontario where helmets aren’t required by law.
Now for a quick cycling history.
I learned to bike from an older neighbour fella. He put me on his bike and pushed me. I couldn’t crash right away because I was going too fast. So I cruised down the street by the skin of my teeth, jumped a stop sign and then roared down a busier street. I kept going until I crashed into a hedge which was owned by a lady, who later called my family country hicks. Her hedge wasn’t so friendly either.
Another time I held onto his bike while I rode my bike, and guided him down a steep hill. He had no brakes and didn’t want to walk.
Anyway, back to the story. There I was, peddling and feeling the burn of joyful freedom. I called this bike Pixie Lee. My present bike is called Buddy Lee. My cat Spooky named my first bike. I named my present bike.
I gave the leader of this flock a hearty and well-meaning salutation.
I said to myself, “Who the “F’ does he think he is?
Maybe a brain surgeon. I don’t know. If so, then he was an obnoxious, insufferable brain surgeon.
Later on, I thought I’d tell this story to two of my buddies who were raised in the same area as myself. They listened and then they shouted out some good old fashioned F’n curse words, using the F’n F word as a noun, verb, adjective and adverb. They were mighty fine.
And why not? He removed the pure joy of my bike ride even though I’d probably been cycling before he was even a glint in his parents’ bedroom’s eyes.
I approached a woman who stood by the trail-head. And oh my god, I nearly had a conniption. She was just hanging out. Slouching even, and was smoking a cigarette and drinking coffee. She probably had fatty fast food containers and napkins in her vehicle. I almost fell off my bike.