Bicycles and swings

Today I fell off a bike and played on a swing. Let me tell you about it.

This morning I dropped my car off for a service. As usual, I took my bike with me so that I could ride home. I rode part of the way along a grassy path that runs beside a railway line. The grass was a little high and I didn’t see a hole. My front wheel went down into the hole and I was tossed off the bike. It was a fairly soft, grassy landing, so no real injuries (a little scratch on one finger and my leg feels like it may develop a light bruise — sympathy may be expressed in the comments section below). BUT it was a really interesting experience.

It happened really quickly… and yet oh so slowly as well. In my mind the whole experience was like a slow-mo shot in a film. My mind was racing so fast that the incident seemed to take ages… and yet it happened too quickly for me to actually do anything to stop it. It was almost as if it was happening to someone else. Fascinating!

As I play the whole thing back in my mind, I’m actually rather enjoying it. Weird, huh? I’m excited about it… about how I can potentially use it in a story.

You see, I’ve not fallen off a bike in a VERY long time — not since I was a teenager. I had forgotten what it was like. But this little minor mishap has brought it all back. And it’s an experience that I can use in my writing. In fact, I’m now itching to have one of my characters fall off a bike.  🙂

Later in the morning, I took my kids to the local playground. We ran around and played for a little while and then they started off their own game. So I sat on a swing… and swung! Ten minutes. I had ten minutes of uninterrupted swinging. Up and down. Soaring towards the sky. Reaching for the clouds. Flying. It was marvellous!

I love swings. I love the carefree feeling of being on one. Just like the bicycle accident earlier in the day, it made me feel like a kid again.

Reliving childhood is part of the job description for a children’s author. I often get people asking me about that. They want to know if I can remember what it’s like being a kid. They ask me if it’s difficult to recapture my childhood. Nah! It’s as easy as sitting on a swing or falling off a bike.