I went running a few days ago for the first time in many many years. I discovered taking up running after a significant time off is not at all like getting back on a bicycle. Things shift in the body over time, and while my muscles held some memory of what to do my bones jangled and clattered against one another in wrong ways.
I started out walking after a stretch. I walked past the coarse loud-voiced men playing horseshoes, the clangs of metal echoing across the landscape. The air was warmly heavy, sweet-smelling. I walked past the aging neighbors dueling from across the street on riding lawn-mowers. Past the three retirees sipping iced drinks on their concrete patio.
I live in a quintessential New England town. A place of farms and Colonials and town greens. The kind of place where strip malls still compete with Mom-n-Pop home-based businesses. Where tractors and Subarus and Volvos share the road. Where manicured lawn meets the edge of a neighboring weed infested wild garden yard.
I turn left onto a quiet side road and begin to run, feeling a bag of bones layered over with straining muscle. I'm awkward, but determined. I mark goals by the tall maples lining the road and somehow I make it to 5, and then 10, and so on. My body begins to remember, muscles pulling posture into place, arms tightly swinging to keep balance. As I pass the houses I think of the myths their neat lawns and clapboard siding tell.
Myth. That was the word when I last left you weeks ago. Tara offered up this delicious piece:
A veil of illusion binds him. His snowy hair and onyx eyes belie his age. Fair of face and manner, only the beauty of his voice compares. He walks as if on wing, his feet barely touching the earth.
Fairytales and legends he whispers in my ear. Myths of Druid spells, witches and enchanted swans, of stolen children and curses broken by love’s first kiss.
In his arms I lie, breathing him in as his stories fill my dreams. The world falls away, and all that remains a single white feather nestled between my breasts. A son of Lir transformed.
You've all been ridiculously patient with me and my sporadic absences. You're awesome, all of you.
This week I'm reading, Ruling Your World: Ancient Strategies For Modern Life, a book I highly recommend if you're interested in applying meditation to every day life. Actually, I recommend it period. The word is:
"A mind that knows its own depth can see the brilliant, elemental magic of the world."