Silver, Speed and the Six of Us

Today I drew the seven of wands- the single, burning torch of a branch, with six white branches silhouetted before the dark thicket. Walking the path and describing it as I go. Today there were six of us on the beach- three moms, three nine-year-old boys and five bicycles. Elaina didn’t bike. But I did. I, who have not ridden in more than ten years, not since I first bent my pelvis in a rollerblade crash on this very sidewalk, here, along Alki beach. I rode. I got on a green Lime bike, scanned the code with my phone and peddled after my son, who was streaking away into the gold and blue perfect fall day, who was peddling after his friend Owen, the speed demon. Shannon rode beside me, and the sidewalk was empty enough that we could ride side by side and talk. The water stretched out in long silver streaks toward the Seattle skyline, hiding the schools of Coho salmon who are, even now, making their way home to Longfellow Creek. To the tragic and insistent Duwamish River. To the herons and otters and beavers and, farther away, years away, the cedars and hemlocks and birches. We rode. We rode along, among all this, and my son’s eyes were wide and soft and his mouth was huge with laughter and later, after lunch, when Owen wiped out as he turned on a sandy spot, Forest flung his arm over his crying friend’s shoulder and said “Take a deep breath. Take a breath. You’re okay. Let’s just walk a little.” Today I rode and the years back to the time when I turned my life with that fall became water through my gills, air in my ears, silver sidewalk speeding away beneath my feet with the primal pleasure of having procreated.