There is something about the feeling of flying down a hill on a bike. Where I feel completely out of control, but firmly in control at the same time.
The hills of New Hampshire are perfect for it. You climb, the gears the lowest they can go, your body pumping, your breath deep and shallow at the same time.
The fields of green, houses from the 1700s, cows, dogs, tractors, it all slowly passes by as you climb.
And then you reach the top.
Get your life together.
And fly back down.
Body bent and steady. A V on top of your bike.
Hands floating just above the brakes.
Everything a blur of green fields and black pavement.
The thought of what would happen if I fell enters my brain, and then quickly leaves, making the experience even more intense. I brake, but then take my hands off the break and miss my turn so I can keep coasting, flying, moving freely over the road.
So everything else can fly away.
Just me and road, as if I've built it under my wheels by being here, in this moment. Present.
You have to be present on the decline. You have to know exactly where you are and stay deeply in tune with how you'll move.
And in many ways, parenting is like this.
Fear that propels you forward.
Building the ground underneath you as you go.
Steep, grueling climbs that reward you both on the way up and then back down.
Relief, accomplishment, joy and determination all wrapped up in every move you make.