Monday, February 26, 2007

stretch on the deck

Spent the weekend cruising with the ProsperityShip headed by our Cruise Director.

We jump in his minivan and he tells us that as the Cruise Director he gets to control the doors. No on touches the doors. To which his children reply, "That just makes you the doorman." Though on this ProsperityShip, this may be a good thing. Because if the truly prosperous can make things happen, then being the doorman is a good place to be in. It's like the keyman in the Matrix.

For recess we walked near the bay on a trail on the banks of a waterway that led to the bay. We couldn't see the bay but we could smell the air. It was a gravelly trail that reminded me of Encinal High's track where I first met a friend of mine. A long straightaway. As we walked I was just itching to run. It had been years, since high school, that I had gone running.

I ran track and cross country. I wasn't that good at either, but the track team was small and if you wanted to run, they couldn't stop you. The track coaches were ok and often rotated each year as running wasn't a big sport at a small school. Their best advise for me was to run faster, which I wasn't exactly sure how to do that. But I just liked getting a chance to be outside for once, instead of the gym sports I had always done, so I gave up volleyball so I could go running on the beach and the trails in Joaquin Miller. How could you beat watching the sun set dive into the SF fog or run through the mist next to the redwoods and pine trees through the hills?

So on our way back, K was nice enough to hold my papers, and I went into a full on sprint. the gravel slipping under my feet, the arms pumping, the legs stretching, the chill air pushing deeper into my chest with each breath stinging just a bit. As I began to slow I pushed to get to the next tree before slowing to a walk. Then before I could feel the fatigue, I ran the rest and down the small slope to the car. I always liked running up hill. Downhill was a risky thing. While the others adeptly found their way to jutting roots and rocks to zig zag down, I would always tense up as I never was quite sure how fast to run down to both gain speed and keep control. If I knew the trail well enough I would just try to relax my legs and hips and let gravity pull me, now that was exhilirating!

It's been fun these last two cruises to get in touch with things I used to actively do. The things I do now are nice, but it's particularly nice to relive a few of them. For the most part, much of my movement is constrained to desks and vehicles and the occasional sprint to the bus. It was wonderful to have the world fly by: yellow mustard, gray reeds, blue sky. Feel the air enliven the skin. Have my legs stretch to their full length. The feeling of no constraints. Just the feeling of flying over the land, of falling and having the earth catch you.

Usually, I'm the kind of person who likes to just sit and take it all in. Watch the small gnat rest on my thumbnail, watch the reeds shimmer into different colors. But sometimes, sometimes, you just have to go and move and run. Instead of waiting for the wind to hit you, sometimes you just have to be the wind.

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