"Are there any bikes on that side?"
Leah and I rummage underneath the Yacht Club in one of the four wood shops that our landlord sloughs both small and large treasures, including his pre-made, hand built coffin; A North Carolina mountain tradition, so I hear. There's an extensive collection of rusty, flat tired bikes, any of which we are allowed to ride (thanks, Gayle). I tie an awkward shoe over my pharmacy bought air cast and hop on one of the more favorable bikes with two full tires and brakes that work if you plan your stops about a quarter mile out. We hang a left out of our driveway and cruise down the Branch in the quieting, settling, evening air. How green everything is here. It's enough to reconsider your 'favorite color'. Leah rides with no hands in front of me, turning easily along the uncommonly flat roads in our part of the hollar. "Coming home always feels like a whole other part of my day, packed in to one day," I say, thinking out loud. "Yea, thank god," Leah says over one shoulder, "I don't know what I'd do without this." A truck passes on our left; we both wave, instinctively. "I think it really makes a difference, wanting to come home everyday. I mean, I just think about our home and I start laughing." We both smile.
On the ride back, Leah picks up speed--"I use to do this as a kid...." She passes me, stands up on her pedals and opens her arms wide like The Redeemer, flying over our bright, green world. I think of my baby sister, who at this time tomorrow, will be returning from a half year-long trip to Amsterdam, to spend the summer with us at the Yacht Club. I will save this moment for her in a mason jar. Soon, we will both know how good it feels to be home.