Meet Madeleine, who is the same bike with a shiny new name.

We’ve been having a good time together, Madeleine and I. It took awhile for an appropriate name, but I’m happy with what I’ve settled on. A lovely green bike with silver fenders and a leather saddle needs an appropriately lovely name. I like this one because I don’t know anyone named Madeleine, so it has no ‘other-people’ associations. And all the current associations it comes with are good. For example:

1) The little shell-shaped French cookies that are also named Madeleines are delicious, and if provided, I would eat a large number of them easily. (This could quickly become a “bad” association, but I’ll try to avoid that.)
2) On the French theme…I’ve never been a huge Francophile, but with Jesse learning French, and all the patisseries around Portland, it’s hard to resist the way the croissants flake, and the language curls around. And yes, there’s Madeline, the cute little French girl from the children’s books. A quick Wikipedia search reveals it’s also the name of a river and many cities in France, and a metro station in Paris.

3) Madeleine L’Engle is one of my childhood’s favorite authors. My poor copy of A Wrinkle In Time has been beat up, stained, bent, and re-read too many times to count. It was, to me, perfect. I loved her stories and adventures, and the way she intertwines science, religion, and magic, all while asserting that “story is truth.” It’s only lately that I’ve begun to realize how much that may have influenced me. It’s been awhile, actually…maybe I’ll take myself on a little date to the library tomorrow…

I’ve been trying to get Jesse to name his bikes, mostly so I can more easily tell them apart. He likes to use the name of the company that made the frame, while I like to refer to them by color. It would be so much easier if we could just say “Olaf.” And yes, we do have that many conversations about his bikes, enough to merit this thought process.

As for my own Madeleine, I’ve been taking her to work most days, and I’ve already gotten a lot of compliments, ranging from the awkward (“Wow, what a green machine!”) to the truly admiring. My favorite days are when it’s sunny and I’m just meandering around, with a straw hat on my head. I feel almost too lucky.