Yesterday was the first day of Spring, and today I really felt it.
What perfect weather! I recently dropped a bunch of money on a bike––a decent one, according to my friends who know about these things––and I figured I should take it out for its first spin today. I should get over my paranoia about breaking my shiny new bike and take it down to the beach and enjoy the beauty of the city in which I live.
It was a perfect day for it, but I ended up going shopping instead.
Normally, in my world, that would be a pretty poor trade-off, because shopping happens to be one of my least favorite activities. It’s completely over-stimulating and exhausting, usually.
But today, I went all the way out to this outlet mall I glimpsed from a bus about a year ago, at which I stared longingly for a full two minutes, face pressed to the glass, heart thrilling within me, as we zoomed right on by. It looked just like America.
So this wasn’t a mere shopping trip, it was the fulfillment of a long-held desire and dream.
It was like stepping out of my normal life for a moment to go home.
Memories flashed upon me: weekend trips to outlets in college, childhood vacations featuring stops at outlets, the new outlet I occasionally hung out at in grad school. And despite having just ridden three different buses and a taxi to get there, I didn’t feel tired. I was relieved and delighted to have arrived.
I bought some great biking clothes on sale at Nike (to go with my new bike), eat some great food at the classy food court, and take lots of pretty pictures. My mom just went to Orlando, and sent me pictures of her at Epcot Center. I felt my pictures rivaled hers. That was her vacation; this was mine.
The best moment, though, was napping in the cab afterwards,
the smell of the spring air and the warmth of the sunshine carrying me back to lazy afternoons at my grandparents’ house as a kid, my grandfather mowing the lawn, my grandmother kneeling down in the dirt of her garden, me feeling warm and safe, at rest.
It was the whole feeling of the outing that mattered, is what I’m trying to say. The intersection of the freshness of spring, exploding with new life, and the comfort of childhood, knowing that everything is right. The feeling that the past hasn’t been lost and the future is bright. The feeling that life is good, and that’s the way it should be.