Stuff I see on my run

I try to get out of the door by 7-- leaving the wailing baby and grumpy toddler behind with my long-suffering mate. It's not exactly cold in the morning, not yet, but the air is wet, fresh. My body feels ill-jointed, like a marionette, and I take my first few arthritic steps out of the garage and onto the dirt road. The neighbor's giant wood-chipper truck is already on and warming up, puffing out diesel fumes, and four guys pull up in their pimped trucks, in their orange shirts. They leave their cars, pile together into the chipper, and go to work. I am shy to jog by them, so I say good morning and walk until I'm out of sight.

Things smell rich-- the flower-smell from the white ginger, the toxic burnt-plastic smell from the rubbish burning pit, the cut grass, the everygreen cat smell, the grassy horses.

I start to run -- stomp, stomp, stomp-- and remind myself that not to fight each jarring step but relax into it, let the movement massage my muscles and bones.

Running feels like having an extra 20 minutes to dream in the morning-- a buffer between rest and work. And life outside of my life has a chance to push into my consciousness. There is a world-- grass growing, animals living and dying, old people raking their yards, young poor people and old rich people warming up their cars, tying up their dogs-- that carries on without me. Out in the neighborhood I feel both like a part of a larger ecosystem and also wonderfully anonymous.

I jog along the road and notice the tricksy gravel underfoot and also the gold-lit cow on the other side of the fence, white-faced, wide-hefted and sun-orange, with a bright egret on her back. She promenades along the fenceline, facing the dawnlight.

Toads die in the night. They do not flinch in the headlights and they are flattened where they sat in the rain. They gesture horribly in the morning-- guts coughed out.

This morning I ran all the way to the old cemetery-- it looked like a study in Halloween decor. Time-corroded stones, worn down to nameless leaning lumps. Moulding, mossy, staggering into the underbrush. A man-height marble celtic cross blackened and obliterated, presiding over four sides of fallen cast-iron fence. Turned the corner and I looked-- and looked again. A cow? A hunched form? I got closer-- the hide of a wild pig, slung over the cemetery barbed wire. Another disintegrating monument, a nameless place-marker: Something was alive in this place, and now it isn't.

Feet on the ground, air in the lungs, shoulders, arms, trunk moving. In the mornings, running, I feel corporeal.


  1. Becca?? running?? and no ones chasing you??

  2. I soooooooooo love walking for the same reasons....meditating out loud in the mind....


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