It was a beautiful day for a bike ride; the perfect day in so many ways. Well, at least it started out that way. I pedalled my bike along scenic False Creek to Granville Island. This was my day to explore the world of art. I locked up my bike securely and proceeded to one of my favorite galleries that displayed the works of various local artists. After delighting myself for an hour, I wandered over to a ceramic studio, only to discover enroute that my bike was no longer where I left it. I stood there in disbelief. I could not accept what I was seeing. The vacant spot where my bike once stood now glared back at me. What could I do, I asked myself.
I looked around and everything looked normal. Traffic crawled slowly as it usually did and a few people meandered about. Nothing was out of the ordinary. Except for my missing bike, which was only evident to me. I knew I had to call the police to report the theft. For now, I was physically fine. I had all of my essentials including a good pair of walking shoes, money for transit and a cell phone to call someone if I wanted. I even had my favorite bike helmet and cycling gloves still with me.
I walked over to the next Art Gallery and shared my experience with the receptionist. She empathized with me and that was when I realized I did not want this unfortunate incident to spoil the remainder of my day. I spotted a chair sitting in the sunlight, against a large floor to ceiling window. On the chair was a brochure advertising the special event that was currently happening. I sunk into the chair and read about The International Day of the Dead event, showcasing artfully decorated human skulls made of clay. Artists from around the world, celebrated life and art through their spirited creations honouring this 3,000 year old ritual initiated by Spaniards.
As I immersed myself into the artists works and stories, my sadness over the loss of my bike lifted. Looking back, it is ironic how stories can shift our mind and mood. Stories of death brought me to fully realize how much life was in me. I rationalized with myself that today was the day that I needed to donate my bike to mental health. What is a bike anyways, I asked myself. A bike is a machine for transport, exercise and having fun. What is life, I asked myself. Life is spirit. I choose spirit, and at that point, I released my bike.
I read somewhere that life is like learning how to ride a bike. You need to keep pedalling else you may fall off. Well, on this day, I chose to get off of my bike and I chose to live in spirit. For that, I am deeply grateful. I accept what I cannot change. I choose to move on and let go of thoughts that do not serve me well.
Since the incident, I have grieved for my beloved bike. I have also filed a police report. I hope to see my bike again one day but I am not holding my breath. My life continues, at a slower pace … for now.