Bikes, Trips,and Patience

The past few months, I have been dealing with a situation I have little or no control over. I have come to understand, over the years, how difficult the feeling of having no control is for me. In a nutshell, I have had an overseas trip planned for some time. But, I came upon a beastly mountain that I would need to get past before feeling excitement for what I consider to be one of the best parts of life: exploring. Frustrating details got in the way and threatened the possibility of going.

Patience is the quality needed in such a scenario. No amount of adrenaline, distress, or maneuvering could prove useful. Fast forward to today.

Today, I was thinking back to a time a few years back, when my bicycle — my cherished possession — was stolen at a friend’s apartment complex in New York City. An unwanted surprise.

When I discovered my mode of transportation was not where I left it, I was completely shaken. “How could somebody take something so important to me from me?,” I asked myself. I wanted to run through the building, knocking on doors — hoping someone could shed light on what happened. Instead, I hung my head and walked away from the place where Lulu, the tiny chihuahua I was looking after while my friend was on vacation, lived. I walked roughly 2 miles to my job and was hopelessly late.

The look on my face and beads of sweat from hustling to the office must have been a sure sign to my fellow coworkers that something was wrong. Mary, our lead sales representative, asked me what was wrong. I explained what occurred and expressed the anger I wished to act upon. She was entirely opposed.

Mary had lived in the city for many decades and knew the ins and outs, ways of maneuvering about, and possessed a certain wisdom I did not about the borough of Brooklyn. Crafty and clever she was. I trusted her instinct. Instead of accepting my loss or throwing a tantrum of sorts, Mary helped me devise a plan.

We sat down and wrote a letter to hang in the lobby of the apartment building in Sunset Park. The letter neither blatantly accused nor threatened the wrongdoer. Devising embellishment of me and my situation as the dogsitter for Apt. 6C, I realized that optimism and patience were the only two factors that might — just might — bring my bike back to me. Being that many of the tenants in the building were Latin American, I asked Marcel, the barback at my favorite neighborhood bar, to transcribe a separate letter to place beside the English version in Spanish. I hung them on the cork board with conviction. 

Here is the English letter I hung up:

I went to bed that evening praying the bike would be where I left it in the morning. I woke up the next morning, fed Lulu, and walked downstairs. There it was! My bike was returned. Right there was my bike where I had left it — with a few embellishments. The person who “moved” it had added a water bottle holder and deep saw marks throughout my U-lock. I cared nothing at all about needing to replace the lock, though. My bike was returned.

The reason I decided to write about this memory has to with the quality of patience that I have struggled with in the past. When it comes to my trip, I did my very best to let the universe reveal what was to be (or gave it to God, as I often hear people say in the South). Today, I was granted the green light to resume my halted excitement for the trip. Sometimes, a little patience and faith does yield positive results. I went on a 12-mile bike ride today and smiled as I envisioned walking the streets I have been missing so much in Amsterdam, Paris, and Berlin. So many steps I will take with a dear friend in not-so-many days. 

Like the sight of my returned bike the day I walked down those stairs, I felt the same relief and joy today about my trip. 


Unpack the Joy

Unpack the Joy

Oh, boy, I just noticed
You forgot to pack joy
Beating heart
Left behind
For the trip of a life
Many complications
Underneath constellations
Never expecting
A message
Shot from a star
Oh, boy, turn around
Go grab your joy
The car will be ready
To drive you away
Massive surprise!
Join the party
Open your eyes
Look around and discover
Budding surroundings
Oh, boy, it is Time
To unpack the joy




Gliding through the clouds
No visible concern in the air
A handsome little missile
Is on a big-gun mission:
Seek a twinkly jewel
On the ground down below
Though, Bullet will not accept
Any old common thing
Not today. Such a satisfying day!
Or, truly, any other day
He flies and he flies
Wings spread across the sky
Curving, here and there, passionately
An image of patience
Considering the dish of the day
Bullet will soon find


Song of Traveling

Song of Traveling

An internal crying out
International borders
Fading out
Needing to fly away
Not knowing where to go
For sure, he does know
He made a wish today

A click of the mouse,
Found the key,
Scrolling through pages
Through many dreams
He’d never really seen
Oh, the possibilities

Sometimes the best
Valentine t
o find
Is a suitcase fully loaded
What you can’t wait to see,
Foot tapping imperatively,
Heart paired to the beat
Of a song of traveling

Sitting up—
The plane is landing—
Passengers begin the
Anxiety of standing,
Ready to be
Moving along

We’re really here.
Finally here.
In the clear.
We’ve reached
Our destination.

Sometimes the best
Valentine t
o find
Is a suitcase fully loaded
When you can’t wait to feel free,
Foot tapping imperatively,
Heart paired to the beat
Of a song of traveling

Leave the pieces of everyday
Behind, unwind, now
Pick a place and fly away
You’re worth the pennies
You have saved
We all deserve to enjoy
A holiday

Sometimes the best
Valentine t
o find
Is a suitcase fully loaded
Where you can’t wait to be,
Foot tapping imperatively,
Heart paired to the beat
Of a song of traveling


Nature’s Shower

Nature’s Shower

Drip. Drop.
I felt the rain
Fall down on me
Onto the earth
From my body
Feeling wild as can be
Dancing through mud
The wind slid over me

A perfectly timed force
Nature’s shower
I ran and I ran
Feeling a sense of power
A heavenly escape 
No longer captured
By walls of the day
Arms open, I followed

The dampness soaked
My clothing that evening
Through fabric, to skin
A wakening feeling
The leaving to the calling of trees
The sky called out,
Move along and you’ll see

Run, run, run 
Going about like a child
Spinning around
An orbit of a happy flower
With no one around 
To take the moment away
The time was just mine
I ran away and away


River, Subdued

River, Subdued 

Nowhere else to go
Unless you stand here and brood
Now, climb into the boat
In the river, subdued

Not a person to be seen
Only reflections of the atmosphere:
Hills, snow, trees, clouds, birds
Steady paddle, steer, dear 

When we finally discover 
Dock cleats to secure the lines to,
Note the trouble before your boat
In the river, subdued