I had no helmet. No pads. Just an impatient brother, a hill, and a generic used bicycle. He gave me a push. Yelled “Pedal!” Half way down the hill I flew off. Landed knuckle first. I still have the scars.
One of my favorite quotes is from the book, “All the Pretty Horses,” by Cormac McCarthy. After falling off the horse repeatedly, the lead actor is asked, “Don’t you ride?” He replied, “I was ridin’ when I fell off…” That’s how I learned to ride a bicycle. Perhaps that’s how we learn to do everything.
If only bravery were accumulative. But it doesn’t seem to be. For me, I have to summon the courage each time. For each new thing. Every day. I imagine we all do. If we want to really live. Hearts as fragile as pears, we have to summon the courage each day to say, “I’m here!” Summon the courage to laugh and cry. To ask for help. To love. And we will get cut and bruised, on hands and hearts and egos, but Oh, the ride! The glorious ride! And we are ridin! Even when we fall. I have to believe – always worth it!