It was a short, forty minute bike ride to work this morning, crossing the river that marks the southern edge of Osaka city. After the installation was done, we decided to take the longer route back home, a trail which runs along the Yamato River. Though it cost us an extra twenty minutes in time, what we got from those extra minutes spent seemed to us, immeasurable.
The city side, though a convenient place to cycle, has the hallmarks of any big city, the noise, the traffic, the slightly hectic feeling of being rushed along.
Down by the riverside however, it is the opposite on all accounts. The loudest sounds are birds, water flowing, and the occasional train crossing an old steel trustle. The pathway was also nearly empty, and a slow pace felt comfortable and light, as if there was a weight on us in the city, and somehow it just gradually lifted. Suhee remarked to me ‘wow, it feels like we’re in the countryside!’ and I believed the same, even if we could see the city all around us. The wide, meandering river with it sandy banks, wildflowers, and the occasional crow pacing us as we rode downstream, it was a scene that held with it a special kind of comfort.
If it weren’t so cold outside, and if we didn’t have so much to do back at the house, I imagine we’d have put our minds to having a picnic.
Come springtime, perhaps we will.
Originally published at smallripples.org on December 3, 2018.