today was one of those days, one of the rare ones.
I've been stale with the camera as of late. After dinner tonight, Ljiljana and I strolled just a bit, to enjoy the magic hour, the sun falling in the small dourer hamlet of Lansdowne. I saw the light, coming between the buildings and got a
good, a snapshot that finally made me, happy again.
I'm sitting here a bit sunburned. From digging dirt, lots of dirt. I did not ride much today.
I was a gigantic grand minion today, and that"s what made the day special.
I work over at the pumptrack, just on the edge of a neighborhood, a philly city hood.
during one break, I sat and drank some water, and look out across the dirt, the fast street, the train track, the steep tall weed cover hill, the trash thick and heavy on the top dumped right behind the row houses, at the windows, where I imagined one kid, in his bedroom looking out, down the hill, out at the dirt track.
later tonight I came across this, from Philly Pumptrack (http://www.phillypumptrack.org/)
"Today was the most amazing day of my life. The coolest day that has revolved around cycling in the past 20 years. We had a volunteer day at the Philly Pumptrack and nearly 30 people attended. Almost a dozen children. We moved tons of dirt. We moved tons of rock. We rode our bikes on the beginner track and met new friends. Henry, around 6 or 7 learned how to ride the track today! All this was great, but not what brings me to tears reliving it to you now. Around lunch, Heidi made a stop at the basketball courts and met a few kids on bikes and told them about the pumptrack and they followed her over! Two of the boys, Kevin and Aaron stuck around a while, rode, did some digging, rode some more, and then headed off home. I stayed late to water down dirt after everyone left, and as I was about to leave, Aaron was riding up with a friend. So I waved him into the park. And then there were 2 more friends behind him. And then 3 more. A total of 9 neighborhood kids came out to see the track! Some with, and some without bikes. I explained that they couldn't ride without helmets, but no one had one. I said we have some here, and bikes too (thank you SE Bikes). The kids were confused until I explained this was a city park, and these were not mine but "ours". The first thing they were worried about was someone stealing "our bikes". I explained stewardship. I explained having respect for communal property. I explained our "no helmet, no ride - No dig, no ride" policy. It clicked instantly with Basir and Aaron. Then someone dropped a wrapper from one of the snacks they were eating. "Whose going to pick that up?" Said one young guy next to the offender. He said "I'm not picking up his trash". Who will? I don't remember if it was Basir or Aaron - but one of them said "I will" ran over and picked up the wrapper and put it in the recycle bin. I stayed around for nearly an hour longer than intended with these guys. They helped police the track for trash, packed up all the bikes, lysol'd and put the helmets back in place and helped me close the gates. One of the bikes got knocked over during the clean up and another kid snapped, "Hey! Don't scratch our bikes!" As I was ready to leave, they asked when they could come back. How about tomorrow at ten? We will dig, then ride, then clean up, then ride. How's that sound? Every one of them said they would be back tomorrow. I don't know how many of those little guys will be back. But I do know that the last 4 years we spent getting Philly Pumptrack built was 100% worth it. If only for today. I will never forget this amazing day, or these kids. Thank you everyone who has helped the Philly Pumptrack made a difference in the kids lives in this photo. You helped make this possible.