It rained that morning. I walked outside to a sky filled with a lilac that looked as if it had been watercolored onto the clouds and dusted with purple. The magenta clouds proved to be masterfully paired with a pale blue sky that could be seen for miles through the gaps of the leafless trees.
My feet sunk into the gravel driveway as I tied up my German shepherd, Allie. She would follow me if she wasn't restrained for this short period of time. I sludged through the mud toward our bikes that were carefully and neatly stacked against the wall of our house. The sounds of Allie's opposition filled the space around me. The tires on my silver Trek were flat. Dang it. Making my way to the second bike, I moved my right hand onto the tires and pushed my palm against the rubber tread, steadying the rest of the bike with my left hand on the handlebars. As my hand squeezed the tires, it met the resistance of the air that filled both tubes.
Pulling the bike away from the wall, I led it to the end of the short, gravel driveway. I positioned both hands on the handlebars and stabilized my left foot firmly on the ground. Whipping my right leg over the bike seat, I found the petal on the other side. With one small push, I entered the road and began my six mile journey.
My face lightly pushed against the air that stood in my way as I gradually picked up speed. I adjusted the gears while pedaling until I found the most effective combination. I took a moment to look around and take in the scene before me. Wheat grew in the field I was passing, green and new. I couldn't help but thank this crop for providing the color that was missed most during this season of whites and greys. The lilac skies melted into the silhouettes of the tree line, which acted as a line that separated the sky from the land.
In that moment, my mind shifted from its visually stimulated state into a place that only heard. Sounds rushed into my ears from different directions. I heard the air pushing against me as I raced straight through it, creating a white noise of sorts. Standing there aware of the rushing water in the streams that framed the road, my attention focused on the soft sound of the tires flicking water into the air and scattering rocks as they turned. The distant sound of cars going and coming filled the empty air around me and the inconsistent chirping of birds who had yet to migrate pierced through the layers of noise into the forefront of my mind.
A stop sign grew closer as I sped toward the end of the road. As I pulled up to this two mile mark, my legs burned with exhaustion, my lungs inflated with the freshness of the oxygen they were taking in. Sweat was beginning to form on either side of my nose and the sweatshirt that covered my upper body instantly became an unnecessary companion as heat shot to the surface of my skin. I removed my right foot from the peddle and wedged it against the ground, balancing the rest of me. Grinning, my lungs inhaled a few deep and heavy breaths. Looking both ways, I weighed my options, unsure of which direction to take.