Friday, February 11, 2011

Follow the rain.

The storm beat furiously and now I am footslogging across the Brunswick Nature Park, a Tuesday morning solo run, and the trails are mired, tarred, full of difficult navigation. No jesus lizard footing, no skim-sole trick to it, drudging through slosh and slog. . . a pleasureless, laborious run.
The air has a vaporous sizzle carrying the sweet smoke of dead leaves. Beside the trail, Town Creek runs high and dark, lugubrious, with pine oils and winter paleness.  To watch the life of rainwater, to start seeing patterns in the rain and the earth, be in Nature is the point, the ideal of immersing oneself in nature and movement.  I remind myself to enjoy the run, to enjoy the journey of the run, to be present on the trail.  A visual meditation begins to focus on the way rain sculpts a trail, the natural berms of dirt on turns, the mild contours rolling with an easy cadence, the rivulets cutting veins into red clay, the rocks cleft into erratic rows by torrential runoff, and its a good time to study the footing dynamics of a trail, of my own footing.  I slow down, smooth it out, push from the ribs.  Footing is a universal meditation as we skim the various crusts of the earth and rain adds its own layer of concentration, of mindfulness, and also gives form to the narrative of a trail's deeper nature.  So regard the way the rain runs a trail, attempt to emulate that fluid ease, to follow with a poetic sensitivity, to run as the rain as you conform your efforts to the terrain beneath.