Spring is coming, and my arms are open wide.
This is a famous stretch in Central Park called The Mall. The towering arch of trees marks the seasons like nothing else. This is how it looks in February, with snow spreading from each side of the path like frosting on a cake. Just try to imagine how it looks in April.
Green. Blooming. New.
Here are some thoughts on running in bad weather, and one of my writing tricks for stormy days.
My friends tell me that because I sound so calm and mellow, people don't realize how "Type A" I am. So I'm just telling you that now.
Click the link below to listen in your web browser, or right click it to download onto your computer.
This is a season of putting so many things in order for me. Thoughts. Words. Paperwork and winter clothes. I'm in the tension of doing what I know to do, and also waiting for things to finish unfolding within and without.
I know for sure that it's always the right thing to snuggle with a child. To take time to be a friend. To take a cue from nature and give oneself over to the changing of the seasons. To let some things turn color, change, fall.
I walk down toward the water, to follow the beach into town. But the tide is so low, and the morning fog is so thick that even when I hit wet sand that is smoothed and firm from the stroke of waves, the water is still out of sight. There is only the sound of the ocean's constant sighing, somewhere far to my right.
On my left, I can't see the road or the mountain, either. There is just the cloud's breath, as if exhaled into the cold. The occassional chatter of children a long distance away, or the dark shadow of a person or a family walking near by. My body is immersed in the experience in which my mind has been swimming all week. Commanded to surrender to the unknowing and the unseeing. Forced to adjust my eyes to blindness.
Life is like this, maybe all the time. Sometimes you get more clues than others. "You are somewhere between the water and the shore." Or only, "You have ground beneath your feet. Now, walk." This is a gift, I think, to have the earth teach me this lesson in my body, for all my senses to feel.
I can learn to walk like this, I tell myself. I try to believe it, to practice, to take my fear by the hand and make her my companion.
I step. I breathe. I do it again, and again.
I sink into my instincts about how far I am traveling, and I turn and walk into the cloud on my left just in time to cross the street into town.
No experience is as grounding as getting your bare feet in dirt.
Beginnings are more beautiful than your finishing-obsessed mind will concede.
Real air, infused with the real scents of nature, is good for your body AND soul.
Regardless of whether you succeed or fail, in this endeavor or a hundred others to come, the sun rises and the sun sets, and in that you can find comfort.
When the light finally comes, color saunters in, several steps behind.
No matter who you are, how you feel, what thoughts swirl in your head or which circumstances spin around your feet, it is morning. It is day.