Abraham, Rachel, Soren and Liam. Our life together in Smalltown, Idaho.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Running Meditation

The rhythm of feet against pavement, the in and out of breath.

I smell (in town)  fabric softener. Wet asphalt. Newly cut grass.  Motor oil.

In the country: woodsmoke, warm manure, freshly cut grain,  dark green potato plants.

The cooling, loamy air fills my lungs, pumps through my veins, curls around my bones, takes root.
Leaves and tendrils grow, wrap around, open up.

I hear a harvester humming mechanically through a field, the whir of a water pump, the steady ch-ch-ch-ch of sprinklers, the long trill of crickets, the voices of people-- a child's shout, a family playing under a giant cottonwood tree, a husband and wife chatting as they bicycle past, a woman explaining a recipe to her daughter, who is climbing into a white van.

The evening sky reflects on a pool of still, silent water: the palest pink brushed across deepening blue.

Behind a log fence, the silhouettes of horses bow their heads to graze on blackened grass.  

The wind rumbles in my ears, flows over my face like silk. I hear the crescendo of an approaching car, like surf.  It roars then rumbles and fades.  I run through pockets of cool and warm air.

I hear a dog bark, far away.  I hear a dog bark, very close.

A red light blinks against the foothills in the distance.

Back in town, lights shine through windows.  A cat peers out from behind silken curtains.  A woman with straight brown hair sits at the piano, her hands dancing out breathtaking chords.  The harmonies cross the street like air, wrapping, lifting, tugging, opening.

And behind it all, there it is:  the rhythm of feet against pavement, the in and out of breath.


heidi said...

This SO feels exactly like my near-sunset runs!

My favorite bits:
*I smell... fabric softener.
*curls around my bones, takes root.
*Leaves and tendrils grow, wrap around, open up.
*ch-ch-ch-ch of sprinklers
*silhouettes of horses bow their heads to graze on blackened grass.
*And behind it all, there it is: the rhythm of feet against pavement, the in and out of breath.

This "meditation" REALLY reminds me of the noisy silence of a solo run. It ALSO reminds me that sometimes when I'm running, I happen to think of you briefly cuz you run too--and I immediately have to take a deep breath and reassure myself that I AM a good-enough runner, too--cuz long ago you posted about a run that was the best time you could do... But was also worser than your younger self's worstest times.

That "worst" time of yours, awhile ago, was SO GOOD in my experience! So I have taken to thinking: Well, there are people who can run faster than I can... but I bet I could beat them at Scrabble!

I guess I have a problem with being competitive with ghosts, eh?

Now I'll have new images: Not the numbers of your stupid WORST awesome time but laundry detergent... hypnotic voices and images... that sombre end-of-day noisy quiet.

Nick Wheeler said...

I love this so much. You basically articulated the things I've wished to say so many times about this very topic. <3 <3 <3


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