These last few days with the sun shining and the mornings crisp with frost I have felt that it was time to once again get the bicycle out of the shed oiled and used. Yes I know, I am not a winter cyclist like my daughter. My bicycles have been in the shad all winter. I am the proud owner of three cycles and I use each for its purpose.
I have a mountain bike with large rough tyres for rough terrains and mountain tracks. I have another mountain bike that folds up and is easily transported in the back of the car. Then I have my road bike with very smooth and narrow tyres. This bike is as it says only of any use on roads and smooth surfaces. it big advantage it is very light and therefore easier to cycle up hills with and on the road much faster than my mountain bikes because of the less friction.
So I have started out again this week, each day adding on a few more miles. Yesterday I reached the twenty mile mark, possibly by this time next week I will have reached 30 or above.
Cycling on roads great care is needed so I do not really get much time to look around. While cycling on country roads I can take time to look around.
Yesterday the sun was shining. It is still low at this time of year. it was at my back, as I turned the corner it was reflecting from a cottage window making me blink and take care.
I was reminded of the lovely little tale of the Girl and the cottage of her dreams.
The little girl lived in a small, very simple, poor house on a hill and as she grew she would play in the small garden and as she grew she was able to see over the garden fence and across the valley to a wonderful house high on the hill - and this house had golden windows, so golden and shining that the little girl would dream of how magic it would be to grow up and live in a house with golden windows instead of an ordinary house like hers.
And although she loved her parents and her family, she yearned to live in such a golden house and dreamed all day about how wonderful and exciting it must feel to live there.
When she got to an age where she gained enough skill and sensibility to go outside her garden fence, she asked her mother is she could go for a bike ride outside the gate and down the lane. After pleading with her, her mother finally allowed her to go, insisting that she kept close to the house and didn't wander too far.
The day was beautiful and the little girl knew exactly where she was heading! Down the lane and across the valley, she rode her bike until she got to the gate of the golden house across on the other hill.
As she dismounted her bike and lent it against the gate post, she focused on the path that lead to the house and then on the house itself...and was so disappointed as she realised all the windows were plain and rather dirty, reflecting nothing other than the sad neglect of the house that stood derelict.
So sad she didn't go any further and turned, heart broken as she remounted her bike ... As she glanced up she saw a sight to amaze her...there across the way on her side of the valley was a little house and its windows glistened golden ...as the sun shone on her little home.
She realised that she had been living in her golden house and all the love and care she found there was what made her home the 'golden house'. Everything she dreamed was right there in front of her nose!
How often happiness and peace is so near to us we fail to see it. We lose precious time seeking it elsewhere when it is indeed right in front of our eyes.