Our forest preserves, my tax dollars hard at work, are gorgeous. We take advantage of them all year round–hiking, biking, sledding, dog park, cross country skiing, playgrounds when the kids were younger. When I realized last night that we would have no kids this morning, the only thing I wanted to do on such a glorious summer day was take the bikes for a long ride on a new trail (for us) with no whining allowed, some exercise after what feels like three days of gluttony. Speed, peace and beauty only.
The Milenium Path we took bordered on neighborhoods along the way, but it felt separate, not encroached on. Crossing our paths were a rainbow of butterflies, grasshoppers shocked at our spokes, goldfinch bobbing in the currents, hawks circling, crows seeking attention, the snowy egret shocking contrast to the pond, gnarled oaks cooling us from the sun. It was a incredible day for a ride–to be anywhere outside–on nearly empty paths, gentle hills, flat plains, a spot for lunch along the way.
With three kids and full-time work, it is rare that we get an entire morning to do what we actually choose, and I miss the long bike rides, the hikes with no one complaining. I even miss the shorter family rides, but they take about three weeks to plan, it seems. I will savor the peace this morning, and the whopping ten minutes I felt I had the house to myself. C