Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Eaten By Snowflakes

Even though I was only five years old at the time, I can still smell the brisk air blowing in from the snow that had already fallen just north of our little town. It’s one of my favorite memories. I knew I only had a few more hours to ride my cool, 70’s orange, banana-seat bike that I had gotten the previous Christmas before winter was officially blown in.

As I rode through the streets of our little neighborhood, the air was cold, the sky was gray, and the trees were all naked; but that didn’t stop them from dancing in the crispy breeze. Suddenly, my mom called out to me to bring my bike around back of our little house, and come inside for dinner. So I pedaled towards home and zipped through the open gate, and into the back.

I propped my bike against the side of the towering cement stairs that led upwards to our backdoor. You see, our house had a huge crawlspace underneath which elevated the door about three feet from the ground. It was a perfect resting spot for my ride.

I ran up the stairs and into the warm house where my mom had a hot dinner waiting for me. I tried to eat fast so I could get a little more riding time in before sunset. But before I could finish eating, the snow had begun to fall. Naturally, the sparkling white flakes were so exciting to me that I had forgotten all about my bike, and instead, plastered my nose to the window to gaze at the winter wonderland that was forming outside.

Not long after that, I jumped into my pajamas to get ready for bed. Back then, jammies for kids looked a lot like onesies for today’s babies; a complete body suit. Except mine had feet with slippery bottoms so I could get a running start, and then slide across the wooden kitchen floor, over and over again. That is, until my mother was ultra annoyed.

A few moments later, I was ushered into bed by my mom and was swiftly off to sleep. I was happy for the sleep time for one reason only – it made nighttime go by faster. At sunrise, I popped out of bed, put on my clothes (mismatched of course), and ran into the living room to look out of the window. Snow was everywhere! The snow had to be at least a foot deep. Outside of the living room window, and beyond my foggy breath on the glass, I saw other kids already outside. One of them was even trying to ride their bike in the snow. "What a nincompoop!" I mumbled to myself.

With an “Oh my gosh!” I had suddenly remembered my bicycle. I left it out in the snow around back. So I bolted to the back door and sprung it open. But all I could see was the very top step of the stairs, and white snow all over the backyard. I looked right into the spot where I parked my bike, but it wasn’t there. Surely my orange speed machine would show through the snow, right? But no way! It was gone.

I couldn’t believe it! My bicycle had been eaten by snowflakes. I don’t know why I didn’t say anything to my mom. I supposed it was something a man of five years should handle alone. So I moped to my bedroom and cried for my long lost orange, banana-seat bike. 

The week passed by and, slowly, the carnivorous snowflakes moved on to wherever snowflakes go after they’ve wreaked havoc on unsuspecting neighborhoods, breaking little kids’ hearts. I remember waking up on a Saturday morning with the sun shining, the birds chirping, and the smell of a fresh start in the air. I drug myself out of bed, gave my purple elephant sleeping buddy a pat, and made my way through the house to see who else was up.

My mom asked if I wanted to go outside and play for a bit, so I gave it the usual two-second consideration, and agreed. She helped me gear up in all my winter time clothing and sent me on my way. As I walked out of the front door, I couldn’t help but remember the good times me and my bike had. It was a good friend. No matter where I wanted to ride, it was willing to go. I remember seeing other kids riding their bikes through the leftover slush of melted snow and could feel my bottom lip begin to slowly poke out. Somehow, the extension of my lip made me feel just a little bit better.

Then, suddenly, a loud clanking noise caught my attention. My mom was opening the garage to carry out the garbage. The sun rays and all their brilliance shone into the garage like marvelous spotlights. The warm glow of the sun melted away the shadows inside of that mysterious cave so the delicious secrets inside could finally be relinquished.

My eyes widened as the garage door finished its climb to the top, for right there, inside of the garage, was my glorious orange bike, sitting upright on its perfect little kickstand.

That’s when my mom called over to me nonchalantly and said, “Your bike’s in the garage if you wanna ride it!”

As it turned out, my mom had put it away for me just as the snow began to fall one week earlier. I was relieved. I couldn’t believe my luck! I decided right then and there that moms were great to have around for the little things us five-year-old men were just too busy to keep up with. I thought to myself, “I think I’ll keep her.”

JB Lewis

*Just a note*
This week as you head out for your busy lives, and brilliant careers - try to remember how great things were when you were just a little bit younger, a little bit smaller, and a whole lot wiser. Life is better when we keep it simple. Just be yourself. 

Your Friend In The Light...

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