Moving at Fifteen

A narrow stretch of road, a wide open field, a dark green wall of forest in the distance
My bike propels me
Two rubber wheels and a thin metal frame
All that’s needed to experience the world
No phone, no computer, nothing else
Just a bike and some spare time

All of my senses alert
I feel the breeze, hear the robins chirping, and see everything that’s around me
Nothing escapes me

I’m in a world where notions of others are gone
Where everyone has a clean slate
No one’s angry or trying to cut me off
No honking, cursing, yelling, loud music
Just me, my bike, and thoughts

Outside the car, I have a new lense to view others
No smudges or scrapes
I see people for how they really are
Just the same as everyone else
No one is really that different

That nice elderly couple who sat on the outside of their house
Who saw I was thirsty and gave me water
Or that man
Who cheered me on while I pushed up a hill
Sharing stories of biking with me
These people are hundreds of miles apart
Yet, they’re still the same
Both connected through their kind souls

Moving at fifteen miles per hour allows the hidden to be seen
The hidden, though obvious, connections between us
The ones that are there our entire lives, but cast aside daily
Emotions, thoughts, souls
These bring us together as humans

Biking has shown me how to slow down
How to clear my lenses
How to view others
And how to see every person as connected to me

– Charlie Rahr, The Haverford School, Class of 2017

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