And the day God breathed upon your still life, stirring into being the green leaf and the flower, bud upon the branch and light
upon your soul. Here you felt the earth’s air on your petals and your leaves, and squinted into sunlight, gazing high for heaven
until you felt the gardener’s hand gently turning soil and soul, and nurturing you, bud in radiant sun.
Cascading rain absorbed in warm earth turning, heaven of fragrance. What is that sound in the wind and dazzling light?
Oh, the sweet sound of your delight in God. Sometimes it is like the sound of running laughter.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Flowers and Light Rain as the Trail Goes On

I could not wait anymore. I could hear the trails calling to me. It was a longing in my heart to move along wooded pathways; an anxious desire to feel dirt beneath my shoes; to catch a glimpse of a noisy squirrel at play; to take in the scent and aura of the woods once again; it was a lovely, distracting dream behind my thoughts. Yesterday I just had to go. At just a few minutes past 4pm I succumbed to the enchantment and made my way to Birch Island Park for an hour plus run. I told myself it was just a little run to get moving after the 50K a few days ago. Plus, I only had a 1.5 hour window of time before the evenings activities.

The temperature was 54F with an east wind at 13mph. Initially, overcast and progressing into a light rain, I was full of delight. Once in the woods, I padded along the trails with a comfortable rhythm. I had expected to be stiff and a little uncomfortable after the 50K a few days back. Perhaps I had allowed just the right amount of time to recover. Cool. Over the course of the next 1:24 hours I paced along at a very comfortable 14:32 minutes per mile, ascending 1574 feet and descending 1559. I covered 5.77 miles in the time I had. I could feel the fatigue near the end, justifiable given my recent race, but I felt good.

The woods were beautiful and alive with newness. It is springtime after all. The dampness of a light rain was perfectly fitting. The appearance of miniature blue and white blossoms, scattered trailside was for our visual delight. The fresh, earthy odor of the forest, and the bursting expectations of this season, gave me an energy and quickness I was not expecting. Up a hill, down a path, stop and take in the view, gaze into the glorious, tangle of branches, brush, leaves, and light – I feasted for over an hour on the wonders laid before me - every sense alive and glistening with hope and joy, every thought drawn into considerations of His love for me. Did God make it this way to keep tossing us into His beautiful handiwork, to keep us perpetually aware of His magnificence beyond measure, to sense with deep reverence the wonder of His world as it weaves a new image for us each day? Did He do that just for me and others that wander these trails? I think so. I think He made these things so enchanting to call to our hearts, to see Him more clearly, and to love Him more purely. This happens to me when I run on the trails. I truly feel that I have been closer to Him and to His ways. Somehow I feel better in my heart for having been with Him along the forest paths. As I’ve prayed and worshipped and found Him wonderful, the forest has become a holy place, a very sacred place with Him. When I’m there I feel His presence so strongly and vividly that it seems to change me. I feel more alive. And so the trail goes on. Can you hear the call of the wood? It is the heart that hears. As the trail weaves on I’ll be on it. I’ll look for you. We can share a few miles and wonders. For now, run hard and true, and listen for the trail’s song. It’s just on the wind, just now.


Londell said...

Nice post... Sounds like the recovery is just fine.

Abbey von Gohren said...

I'll be there!


Henry said...

Abbey, Pursuing the greatest treasure in all the world. Love, Dad