wind run

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I don’t know why a windy run always takes me by surprise, but it does.

Yesterday’s run reminded me, again, all about wind. There’s all that resistance as you’re heading into it, and the pleasant relief of turning a corner and feeling it swoosh in behind you as if you are suddenly light.

For just a moment, it reminded me of my sailing days of long ago, tacking into the wind, making slow progress but getting there nonetheless – or the pleasant rush of a downwind run, maybe wing-on-wing or with a spinnaker.

As I was running, several flocks of geese passed overhead. I waved and called out, “Bon voyage!” I doubt they heard me, though, because they were going fast on the wind – like Mach 5 fast. It was crazy.

For a minute, it made me want to fly. I felt as if I almost could, and I flapped my arms a bit as I ran. Just as quickly, I realized, I am pretty happy just the way I am. I must have been going downwind right then.

The leaves were blowing everywhere as I trotted along. The wind has done a good job of undressing the trees. There were huge heaps of color here and there wherever I went. Many of the trees are already bare, but there are still quite a few blazing with colors from green to yellow to orange to red.

I am planning to do a 5k next month. I say this because I realized as I was running yesterday that I have very conveniently failed to sign up for said run so far. This is a clear sign that I am leaving myself the option of NOT doing the run. If I am leaving myself that option, there’s a very good possibility that underneath all my good intentions is yet another intention to not make the run. Why is that, anyway?

It’s good to sign up, and shoot for a goal. To try and do better than you did the last time. To show up, anyway. It makes you work harder as you prepare for the event. So I’ll sign up tomorrow. I will.

I really will.

Oh, and a little update. My new running shoes? They are absolutely awesome!! And the little twinge that was beginning to bother me in my left knee? What do you know – it’s all good now. Shoes make a difference. Lesson learned!

on the Pere Marquette trail

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veru10_14_18aPere Marquette Rail Trail made for a lonely sojourn in the cooler temperatures this weekend. Lonely was just fine with me, allowing me to soak in the solace of nature and all the autumn beauty. It was a peaceful and soul-warming place to be, far from the endless stream of stress in which we all seem to be caught up lately.

The trail is a long one (30 miles), and I only did a short portion of it, but it was just the fix I needed.

Leaves and pine needles scattered themselves along the trail. Water burbled along underneath an old railroad span. I tucked my hands down in my jacket pockets with the chill.

Geese flew overhead, calling out enroute. They are like old friends to me.

Another sound captured my attention on the part of the trail close to town – the brisk clop-clop of a horse pulling an Amish buggy mixing it up with traffic along the side of a nearby roadway. I noticed with interest that seeing something like that through vegan eyes evokes a feeling that is a far cry from the quaint charm it might have evoked at one time.

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So, too, the calves in their little individual sheds that I saw on my way to the trail.

There was a time when I would feel a simple delight in such scenes. No more. I am too conscious now of the suffering inherent in our use of animals. The animals themselves, though, do inspire with their individual beauty and selves.

My trail excursion came after a thoughtful visit to a small church. A mere handful of people came together there, along with two small dogs that had the run of the place. It was the closest picture of community I’ve come across in quite a while. 

For all our memberships and ‘involvement’ in things, we’re increasingly isolated by divisive rhetoric, fear, and the stamp of our personal value in terms of purchase or production – in this world where our very selves are commodified. Churches are not exempt from the phenomena, all too often both generating and exacerbating them.

Happily, this little glimpse into a functional community revealed none of that.

This was just a few people wanting to do good in this world, in the simplest of ways – together.

It was a nice picture to carry with me onto the trail. The peace and beauty of the place, coupled with that picture, translated into a hopeful feeling.

People – wanting to do good in this world, in the simplest of ways. Together.

Kinda sounds like a plan, you know?

autumn kicks in

veru10_12_18a-e1539349051631.jpgWhile Hurricane Michael was devastating the Panhandle, up here in Michigan, Mother Nature was quietly taking the autumn season up a notch.

Temperatures dropped, skies got grey, and winds blustered. Time for jackets and hats and gloves.

I love it. This is my favorite season, and one I have missed for several years. I am so happy to be soaking it in.

Also soaking it in, a delightful dog. As I walked her, she clearly reveled in all the windy activity.  I couldn’t help but laugh as she excitedly attempted to chase down the falling and skittering leaves. The cool air just made her smile.

Those bi-colored eyes of hers searched the world around her with curiosity and joy.  I just love the way she looked high up into the trees and the sky.

Yep, a perfect fall day as far as I’m concerned. Blustery, fresh, beautiful, and a playful Husky with whom to share it.