The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. -Marcel Proust
Some days you just need to get on a bicycle and go somewhere. I find the best way to clear my mind is to be out with nature on my bicycle. There’s something about the movement and being one with the wind, the trees and enjoying the beauty of the clouds passing over me, that it always cures me of my worries and anxieties. I feel whole on my bicycle. I feel alive.
I set off on a day journey with a bottle of coconut water, my homemade chocolate-coconut power balls (recipe here), my coconut flavored Burt’s Bees chapstick, some aloe vera, sunscreen and I was off! I find as I continue to simplify my life I feel lighter. I realized all the “stuff” I had was just for a false sense of security. As long as I have me and my body alive and well, that’s all I really need.
Society has tricked us into thinking we need all these things, but we really don’t. The more I allow myself to shed the things in my life, the lighter I feel, and less co-dependent I become on “things” to keep me happy. Mother nature and a bicycle I have found is more than enough for me!
Yesterday it was a whooping 65 degrees in Michigan. This was a day that I knew I had to celebrate outside. I decided to cycle to my historic hometown of Marshall, Michigan.
Marshall is best known for its cross-section of 19th- and early 20th-century architecture. It has been referred to by the keeper of the National Register of Historic Places as a “virtual textbook of 19th-Century American architecture”. It is home to one of the nation’s largest National Historic Landmark Districts. There are over 850 buildings included in the Landmark. Each house is hand crafted, unique, and beautiful in it’s own vintage, antique way.
Being back on my bicycle in the north, riding through my small home town, was a new and eye opening experience. I took time to admire the beautiful buildings. I grew up around everything being vintage, and different. I wasn’t able to truly appreciate my childhood until I took time by myself to cycle around the town. My summer school was at a school house from the early 1900’s. I wrote with quilt pens, played with marbles, and brought my lunch to school in a tin. It was straight out of a scene in the movie, Little Women. I laugh when I think about it now.
I find as I go back to old places with new eyes, I create new memories. I took in my entire childhood and I felt at peace for how far I have come. I’ve lived around the world and I was back in my small hometown of Marshall, Michigan riding my bicycle on a 60 mile trek for the day. I never thought I would had been back, yet alone on my bicycle.
I feel as adult taking time time to explore is looked as childish. “Grow up and be independent” I hear a lot. I am beginning to understand that part of growing up is taking time to be a child, a see old places with new grown up eyes. I have come back stronger, wiser and with a fuller heart. I’ve made peace with my childhood and now I can come back and make new memories on my bicycle.
To me, independence means the ability to take a day alone with yourself. I was always afraid that I was never enough, that being by myself was going to be a scary experience. The more I find to do things by myself, I have found that I have begun to create a healthy, positive and loving relationship with myself.
I encourage you to find time just for yourself. Take a walk, prepare a meal in silence, take a bubble bath. The more we care for ourselves, the more we learn to love who we are without a lover or a friend around, the more peace we are able to seek inside. If you learn to love yourself then you can truly manifest joy and happiness. It doesn’t come from things or other people, it comes from you alone.”