Gifts from a Morning Run

One of the many life bonuses I’m gifted by running is experiencing things I would otherwise sleep through. Still wiping sleep from my eyes as I nudge my legs into a stiff trot and in the sky, a bright full moon dipping lower and lower so quickly I felt I could almost see it moving; on the opposite horizon, a rusty sun struggling to climb above the trees …

bright moon quick to fade,
dark sun slow to brighten –
early morning run

The night and the day, today and yesterday coming together for a few fleeting moments, the last lingering stars and planets sinking back invisible. The legs loosen. In the shadows, others are on the move …

a half-raised hand,
a breathless “good morning” –
passing a runner

The air is cooler, although still spread thick with chunky summer humidity. But it feels a tad easier to move through, and I feel stronger on the uphills. A little over a month until the Palo Duro Canyon 20K and I want the weather to share my gathering sense of urgency, to lay down a crisper welcome mat for the longer runs to come in September. Still, summer dies a hundred slow deaths around these parts, a brontosaurus roiling in a tar pit, and I know this season will only succumb, literally and figuratively, by degrees …

like a popular song
fast falling from the top ten –
those last cicadas

After the run a shower, followed by coffee in the den with the morning staples: four preludes and fugues from Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, followed by a reading from either Thoreau’s Journal or Eihei Dogen’s Treasury of the True Dharma Eye. It’s Dogen today, and a sentence that lingers: “That you have a human body and mind is a rare thing.” It is indeed! To savor the deep sweet ache in the muscles from a good run, roasty coffee aroma filling the den, old Bach’s counterpoint dancing like jazz. And, on the patio, more gifts from a morning still pulling itself together:

finding their own way:
orange marigolds twisting
out of the blue pot


no time to waste
by the blooming lantana:
hurry hummingbird!

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