April 18, 2014 by scratchtype1
I crest the top of the hill and turn left. It’s into the wind some but downhill, so I let the legs pick up the pace a bit. I look down the length of the downhill which about 10 to 15 minutes earlier had seen me going up it. Now I get to float down it and smile about descending and feeling a bit fast while doing it.
I see a guy in a blue shirt running up towards me. I think about things to say but it looks like he’s concentrating, it’s a fairly long and steep hill. I won’t disturb his focus, I just smile, wave the right hand and say, “Hi.” His eyes dart some down at my bare feet. My smile grows bigger and I see the next figure coming up. She’s a hiker. The day has been chilly and she’s dressed warmly. A hat. A coat. Long pants. Hiking shoes.
I am dancing down the hill wearing only running shorts and a plain white tee shirt. I almost begin to laugh and my smile explodes into a grin. I’m going this way, she’s going the other way. I am open to the chilly air but warm-feeling late afternoon light. Her feet are bundled into shoes and rendered blind. My feet are bare, feeling out a terrain of grass, dirt and small stones. I want to scream out loud, “Hello Spring!” but can’t quite summon the audacity to look fully mad and fully frenzied in front of someone dressed so sensibly.
This is running. There is joy and madness in it, a sensation of the feet feeling out the earth and the chance to fling arms into the sky and write things, YAWP, run and live, run and feel, run and dance, the chance to feel so much that you almost become numb from all of it and sometimes you have to focus on singular things, an oak tree at the corner of those woods, the crow that has taken flight at your crazy charge, the spill of early morning light, the dance around larger stones.
I fly by the woman and I don’t look back. I focus on the steep downslope in front of me to come. There are sharp bits of rock but I trust my eyes and feet to find the path between them. They do. 5 minutes later I settle down into a walk and cool down on the way back to the car.