Sweet Freedom

boy on bikeThey paved the streets in our neighborhood the summer before I started fifth grade, and a year later found me racing down the middle of Fourth Avenue going nowhere in particular, the whir of my bike’s tires on the smooth blacktop humming a one note song. It wasn’t even six o’clock—Saturday morning—and it seemed as though I was the only person in the world. I was free! No rules, no limits, no worries and no fears.

When I sped by Mr. Hammond’s house his bulldog, Roy, came barreling around the side of the house, barking and raising holy bulldogyou know what. A finger of fear raced up my spine and the short hair on my ten-year-old head seemed to tingle. I looked over my shoulder and watched as Roy slid to a stop in the gravel at the side of the road. I could no longer hear him over my laughter and the buzz of my tires, but I could see he was still barking furiously, daring me to try that again.

I zipped across Baseline Road without even a thought of traffic and a dust cloud spewed out behind me as I hit the well-worn trail we’d made through the vacant lot. We’d even piled dirt in places to make jumps where we could “get air”, and as I approached the first one, I pedaled furiously to build up speed. As I hit the small mound of packed dirt, I jerked back boy on bike 2on my handle bars, stood up off the seat, and I flew!

Soaring through the air on that glorious Saturday morning—the first day of summer vacation—I escaped the bonds of earth, and in those few precious seconds felt a sweet freedom that was complete and real. I wished I could just keep on climbing into the sky and float among the clouds forever.



  1. Sherry Mashburn said

    Wow!! I could feel the wind rushing by me!

  2. Reblogged this on Marbles In My Pocket ~ The Official Blog of Charles L. Mashburn ~ Poems, Short Stories, and random thoughts from the author of "Be Still… and know that I am God" and commented:

    I love this story! It brings back a feeling of freedom from the wonder years of my youth. There were some bad times–sometimes some really bad times, but I choose to dwell on and remember the awesome good things. By the way, “Just A Boy” is with the publisher and will probably hit the shelves around the first of October.

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