Rooted, I used to think.

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A Brightness - Tuesday, May. 30, 2023
Opening Up - Wednesday, May. 24, 2023
Drum Circle II - Wednesday, May. 17, 2023
Nine O'Clock Gun - Monday, May. 15, 2023
Drum Circle - Wednesday, May. 10, 2023

Monday, May. 08, 2023 @ 12:40 am
In the Forest

I ride out into the forest on Saturday afternoon wearing dark coloured shorts. My period arrived quietly, and when I saw it my first thought was, Of course, the chances were very low. Russell was reclined on the couch, still jet lagged from his recent return from Europe. The drama my own private struggle, the problem resulting from our last night together before he left on his trip.

“I really do love you, you know,” he said to me that night, afterwards, tangled together in the bedsheets. I laid there and savoured the feeling of the words, a rare declaration of love from him. It would have been a beautiful story to share with a child.

After finding out that there was no decision to make, no difficult conversation to be had, I geared up, took my bike down from the rack on the wall and went out into the forest. I couldn’t be in the hot apartment, the drone of the baseball game, the dishes stacked in the sink.

I ride up the rooty trails, pushing myself hard because it feels good. I hear voices as I near the top where the trails intersect. I burst out of the woods and right there is Shawn. I laugh, say hello, while taking off my long sleeve top. Humidity gathered on my cheeks, running down my back. My bare arms feel vulnerable and exposed.

We ride together through the forest. Craig, who is the reason why Shawn and I met, is there too. The three of us are a ridiculous gang of energy, mud and jokes. They take me down a new trail. I turn a corner, and coming up quick there on the trail is an ‘up and over’, and I swear out loud, and I can hear them laughing and telling me to go for it, that I’ll be fine. So I go for it, a steady stream of swearing from my mouth, and when I clear the feature I look up, and Shawn is looking back over his shoulder to make sure that I’m okay. Over and over, whenever we go through a technical feature, he glances back. I will never forget that about him.

Hours pass while we mess around in the forest together, and as the sun sets Craig leaves to go home while Shawn invites me to join him for a sunset lap of the seawall. We talk but are also often quiet, and I haven’t often felt this easy of a friendship develop in my life. It reminds me of my relationship with Chris, a complicated love that by all accounts of fact is like that of brother-sister, but from the outside is easily mistaken for romantic.

“Your riding and confidence has come a long way in such a short time,” he tells me. “You inspire me to do better.”

Just when I thought that I had all that I could ever want, he came into my life and found a little corner of me that still needed filling up.

Roots | Shoots