Friday, January 27, 2012
A trail runs through it
We have a trail which runs through our town which connects to a trail which runs through our state. And, although we have no mountains, no ocean, no recreational waterside to speak of, this trail does a body and spirit good. Makes one stay around.
I dropped my son off at indoor soccer yesterday evening and pulled into a nearby trail parking lot. Secured the van, keys, shoestrings, calf muscles by stretching, and began the jog. Invariably, the desire to stop in the first mile hit me. Legs felt heavy; all my weight of the world required a rest. The choice to walk or stop flitted in my mind, landing on a big branch to sing a poignant song. But, the one miler must scare it away, knowing that the two miler will obtain a comfortable pace. The end-runner, the one who makes it to the final finishing place, will be grateful for that one-miler who made a decision to keep going, to keep going, to work the kinks out of the body and mind in order to keep going and succeed.
Finishing the race is biblical. God tells us to finish the race we have started: endurance, perseverance, obedience to the call to begin are valued traits to develop.
I like running because it tests my resolve like that; it's a parallel activity. I like our trail because of the trees, the rustles in the side brush, the faces of those I pass who are working spiritual and physical matters out. At times there are unexpected surprises -- like a bluebird landing nearby bright in a gray day; like a friend one passes; like a bench which offers a place for prayers or curses; like a sudden hail storm; like memories of talks, walks, runs, perseverance, process.
I don't know where I would be today if there wasn't a trail which runs through our town.