In preparation for my trail run in October, I have made a conscious effort to do at least one run per week at Lime Creek. And, in doing this, I’ve grown to look forward more and more to that run each week, so much so that I think I’ll be upping it to 2 per week next week. It’s enchanting for me to run there. There are number of beautiful bike, horse, and hiking trails scattered through there and I usually am able to take a different route each time I’m out. I don’t usually have a plan other than the length of time dictated by my training program, so I make up the route on the fly. Yesterday, I decided every time I saw a fork in the trail, I’d go the direction I heard the most birds singing.
Photo Credit : Bob White (Flickr)
Needless-to-say, for most of the run, until I decided to go back, was spent going all different directions. Looking at the route from my GPS watch, I’m sure you’d think I was lost or drunk. But I had a great time. It forced me to really actively listen to the noises around me (which, I suppose, is a good practice when you are running anywhere) and I was forced to realize just how many bird songs there are. Everything from one-note chirps and caws to complex twitters and whistles were present. I’m sure, in their own way, they were saying, “Look out! That weird, ungraceful runner is coming back this way again!” But to me, it was creation’s symphony, with notes of bird song, cracking twigs, gravel and dirt crunching underfoot, running river, and gentle winds. I felt entirely enthralled by the experience. I could have run in that for days.
I’m not saying that I’ll always remember to run with that kind of mindfulness. Most often, on runs and in life, I don’t. But I hope to get there someday. And that’s my challenge for you, today.
Have you ever had an experience like that? Where were you and what captivated you?