I don’t know if “addicted” is quite the right word to describe how I feel about the trail I walk and jog but it is pretty close. I go as often as I can. It is open and I feel the wind at my back or at my front, depending on the day and the side of the park, sometimes making me want to open my arms and let it blow me however it wants to.
There is just the right balance of hills and flat stretches. I am pushing myself a bit more with each visit to be able to jog the entire trail. Mileage is incidental. It would be so inconsequential to runners, who pass me on their second and third time around. It is a personal challenge, not having done much running for a very long time.
At the same time, I often immerse myself in a walking meditation. It is a place that nourishes my soul and where I come up with some of my best thoughts and creative ideas. There is something in that big space that allows me to focus in and listen closely to me and to what my inner voice is telling me. It is what happens for me in nature. Creative insights and fresh ideas “pop” when I put the questions “out there.” It is “my spot” even though shared with hundreds of other people of all ages and dogs, who are all part of the inspiration.
There is a sense of eavesdropping on so many snippets of conversation as I pass friends walking…and then it is sometimes a game to imagine what the rest of the conversation or resolution might be. My coaching mind kicks in. All of us are always working something out in our heads and hearts and there is great “figuring out” taking place for many as they make the circle around.
Then, after all that, I enter the stillness…two-thirds into the second time around. A swinging bench that overlooks the stream is where I settle and ask more questions and listen…absorbed into the quiet except for the gentle sound of the water. My feet have stopped and my whole body goes into relaxation and rest.
Similar to writing about Kairos time, time of presence to others that is not by the clock and presence to life, this is total and complete presence to my self. It is not, however, so much of an ego presence as trying to get rid of the ego…to let that piece of me go because of the huge, confusing, crazy blockage it creates.
I immerse myself in the natural beauty and let what comes, come and what goes, go. It is a cleansing space. It is a clarifying place. It is a receiving space. It ushers me into peacefulness. At times I look up and up and up into the sky as if there might be some answer waiting to descend and find me on my swing. There is great symbolism all around me and I sometimes find myself surrounded by and immersed in multiple metaphors.
Nature and stillness speak…or maybe it is that in nature and stillness I open to a deeper listening capacity.
Today I sat down on a stone right on the water. The bit of fast current and then the calm reminded me that the rough and tumble in our lives always…always…at some point slows down and eases into a completely calm, but still moving current…never to go back again and into something more.
I feel immensely grateful that I have spaces to go where the stillness speaks and where I stop to listen.
And where I can then pick up where I left off on the trail, totally refreshed and renewed…ready to pick up the jog again with lightness and a refilled spirit.