Thursday, August 6, 2009

The everyday wonder of riding bicycles at 5:45 am with my daughter

I am so loving having my daughter home for the summer. I know this because I rise several days a week, at least three, to ride my bicycle with her to her job in Oregon City, where she works for Clackamas County as a temporary summer employeed.

She rides her bicycle every day to work because she has no car. We did not get our children cars for their 16th birthday as some parents do (that is a whole other topic of a column).

But I think even if Rachel had a car she would still ride her bicycle to work. She likes the exercise, she likes to feel like she is in Germany, and she likes to feel as if she is saving the planet. All of which she is doing, one ride at a time.

It really is invigorating. And I made a commitment to ride with her Monday Wednesday and Friday. And two of those days, I take her out to Coffee Rush for a coconut mocha for me and a coconut latte for her.

I love our morning bicycle rides. The sunrise this summer has been splendid. The fresh air, the conversation. The everyday feel of life, the moment, the wonder, the sweetness of having this time with my daughter. I thank God every day, every moment, as I ride with her.

When we arrive at Coffee Rush, we are greeted by Angela and two other workers at the coffee shop depending on which day it is. The music is soft folk rock which I enjoy. We talk about small things, and family, and church, and faith, and school, and frustrations, and future, and careers, and passions, and callings, and health, and American culture compared with German culture, and relationships, and community.

Daily conversations, moments with people, with family, with friends, with loved ones, cannot be planned necessarily. You just have to be there for them. To be available. Forget this quality time. You need time. And time is what I love having for my family. Taking the time. To just be. To sit after dinner to talk instead of rushing off to do dinner or the internet. To have tea in the evenings together, to make tea first off, then to sit on the deck or the couch to sip and see who will join you. To just be.

Rachel's job is going to be over for the summer in a couple of weeks which is so hard to believe. I do not want summer to end. I want to hold on to it, to keep it close, to never let it go. I know I cannot, but what I can do is savor it, and write about it and take lots and lots of photographs and treasure this moment close to my heart.

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