It’s late, and the only ones awake are myself and my friend, the moon. I know she’s out there, waiting for me to tie up my laces and fly out the door to join in another dark adventure. The night is clear and autumn-time breezy, so that is exactly what I do.
I start with a walk up the inclined street, looking up in a silent hello as my friend peeks down through the treetops. As I reach the first side street I push ahead into a run, enjoying the immediate coolness of air flow. I start off strong and fast, but remind myself it isn’t a race and I’m not being chased, so I rein back to an easy jog. My neighborhood has a constant slope and I live at the bottom, so the first fifteen minutes are all uphill. ‘Easy does it’ I remind myself, the words of a favorite book, Born to Run, resounding in my head:
“Think easy, light, smooth, and fast. You start with easy, because if that’s all you get, that’s not so bad.”
So I ease back, moving just quicker than a fast walk. Before I know it, I’m at the stop light I struggle to jog to sometimes. A quick traffic check and I cross the street, deciding to finish the uphill with a walk. The top end of the neighborhood runs along a main road which is blocked off with a tall cement wall but has a nice grassy, tree strewn path beside it. I hit the grass running, staying in the shadows beside the wall and watch as the dark trees ghost by with the extra speed. This part is lengthy but enjoyable and, surprisingly, I finish it and can keep going, only stopping at the opposite end of the road to traffic check again.
No cars around, so I walk across, continuing to do so as I reach the sidewalk. My exercise isn’t finished, but it’s not the only reason I’m out tonight. She has waited, silently lighting my path until I choose to share. I exhale deeply, my breathing mostly stable now, and then begin. There is much to discuss between her and I, and I speak rapidly, pausing every so often to gather my thoughts. But she floats there, listening quietly as I speak of the past, and of the future. No judgements, no criticisms, only light and understanding.
I round the corner, the last of four, and now time is short. I walk a bit in silence, not quite wanting to voice the last and strongest of my feelings, for that makes it more real. I pause at another road, and spill the truth. There is no laughter, no smile, or even a hug. Just the quiet cool air and white light throwing shadows about. I may revisit those last words again, but for now they are just between me and my pale friend.
I jog across the road, and continue on, now on the home stretch. I push into a sprint, my feet quickly eating up the short distance left, and then relax again. My breathing steadies, my pace eases back and I slow to a walk around the corner of the house. I stop at the back door and wave goodbye to my lonely friend in the sky. Until the next night, when you will again light my way, and I will beat the rhythm of my ever pounding heart into the dirt, grass, and pavement. But that’s ok, the earth is strong, she can take it.
Until we meet again, dear friend, for another run, and another sharing of tales.