Summer is closing, ‘back-to-school’ is approaching and the Strawberry Girl has had quite a summer to remember. She and her trusty single-speed steed, Azzuri, suffered a crash (old Strawberry threw her back out and both she Azzuri needed a lot of R & R); they road and walked way too much around hot and dry Boise, Idaho; drank way too much coffee and fruity summer cocktails; bummed one too many cigarettes; over-stimulated themselves with music and art; found love; lost love…
In short, the summer of 2008 brought with it many adventures- too many to recount- but it mostly taught Strawberry one very valuable life lesson as she and Azzuri journeyed through the months. Together, they reevaluated and reaffirmed a valuable principle of life- that living as truly and honestly as possible is paramount to achieving as fulfilled a life as possible. It’s that simple. However, this is, at times, is the most hard for the Strawberry to achieve. “To thine own self be true,” a great playwright once wrote, and while commanding a bicycle, this message couldn’t resonate more closely to her.
The founders of this forum; which the Strawberry Girl is ever so grateful to write for, Brandon Follett and Amy Johnson, are prefect examples of healthy and thoughtful living and are a constant inspiration to the Strawberry Girl. Brandon and Amy don’t own cars, professional house sitters, travel extensively and are true citizens of the World. To be so conscientious and productive is not a natural gift to the Strawberry Girl, who was raised a material girl living in a material world, but Azzuri reminds her daily of what is the fundamental essence of being. To give really is to receive and, most importantly, the caliber of what one gives is usually close to the caliber of what one will receive, in turn. Of course, this is a painfully fundamental message already practiced and understood by most, but the Strawberry Girl is a painfully late bloomer when it comes to lessons of the heart and mind. Whether riding carelessly through the streets without direction or anxiously barreling late to work, she knows that she is free and independent and hopes to create as little harm to her surroundings as she can, while producing and contributing back as much as she can. With this knowledge, she has been able to change herself as a person and feels some miniscule pride that she, too, has contributed to the World.
A bicycle can change lives, if allowed. A cool, tricked-out, highly-accessorized bike is NOT the only way this can be achieved. In fact, the bike or bicyclist is completely irrelevant. The return to self-sufficiency is what matters and that makes the biggest impact. Before Azzuri quietly entered her life two years ago (for $50 at a neighbor’s yard sale), the Strawberry Girl went through; one car, countless bus and train rides and a variety of other fad sport/transportation flukes (Rollerblades, anyone?). She’s always been a bit sporty, but it was Azzuri that really did change the Strawberry Girl in to the environmental enthusiast she is today. The Strawberry Girl forgot what it meant to care for people and places in her life because she was so consumed in what she didn’t own that she was hardly grateful for what little resources she did have- as menial as they may be. A bike isn’t much, but it’s a start.
Commentary provided by the Strawberry Girl