I didn't own a car my whole time in college. Most of the time this wasn't an issue, but I did rely on friends from church for rides to church functions. One time, I sent a text to my friend Whit (who later became my roommate) asking for a ride to a dinner we were having that night. Her response was, "I actually don't have gas right now...but I have an extra bike. Want to bike with me?"
I hadn't ridden a bike in probably 8 years at that point - but you never forget, right? So I said yes! We biked the 5 miles that night and then several times more because we enjoyed it so much. We only stopped when the time changed and it got dark too early to be safe. I have great memories from those rides. The first time, I was definitely slow and unsure of myself, but after that, I felt like I had pretty good speed and kept up with Whit pretty well.
It wasn't until nearly two years later that I found out the truth. Whit and I were talked about Santee Lakes, a really nice park not too far from us. I was saying how fun it would be to bike out there one day to do homework. It's a long ride - about 30 miles round-trip. But I thought it would be a fun excursion. Whit agreed, but commented on how it can be hard to bike with other people because of the different speeds people like to bike at.
I said, "Yeah, but remember when we biked together - our speeds weren't that different." There was a quick silence, and then I realized something that Whit had never let me know. "Or were they?"
She smiled, and said that they actually were more different than she had let on. It shocked me, because I would have never known if she hadn't told me. She cared so much about me that she rode her bike slowly many times so that we could ride together. Not once did I feel any pressure or frustration from her.
On Valentines Day, it can be easy to get caught up in the dramatic expressions of love. And those are certainly not bad. But often love is in the little things, in the things that are never said or mentioned, in the dishes that are washed, in the books that are read, in the stories that are told, in the shopping that is done.
And sometimes, love is found in biking slowly.