“But the point is that when I had enjoyed anything there was a peculiar sensation as though it was laying around loose in me. Nothing seemed to finish itself up or fit in with the other things.” — Carson McCullers, from her story A Tree A Rock A Cloud
The road I run on is beside a small municipal airport and reminds me of a small highway. For a moment looking at mown grass on the road today, I imagined my feet were touching grass on a stretch of the road ahead of me and not on the part I was running on.
On Saturday, I participated in my first race, the Sunrise Stampede in Longmont, a 2-mile/10K run walk. I ran two miles in 28 minutes and placed 287th of 468 finishers.
The race was very casual. Many families participated, running and walking through shaded streets in Longmont. This was my first race, and I didn’t know what to expect.
As a group turns a corner together, as you listen to a woman encourage her daughter or a man pace his son, you become part of the child’s response as their lives begin to finish inside you.
How difficult is it for the overweight son trying to finish the race for his father? Is the man trying to save his son or win him? As the boy looks up, does he hear something about endurance or enduring or is he trying to live his life through the eyes of another man?
Will the boy remain the person trying to lift his knees higher? Will the small girl who seemed to drift through the streets as if it were a magic mountain become a mother who will encourage her child?
You climb and fall together, knowing that one day they will remember this day on the other side of a life when they stopped in the sun for a photo beside the water table.
There are moments when I run now that I vanish. I don’t feel my lungs working or my legs pounding the pavement. I am not a tree trying to grow from the earth, I am not a rock unmovable and alone. I am a cloud, floating for a moment above the earth, able to see the part of the road I touch now and the part of the road that is ahead of me, touching all parts of the road at once.