Today a red tailed hawk flew by my face. Okay actually it was about ten feet away from my face, but still, it was really fucking close, and really fucking glorious. I was running in the forest, far, far away from civilization and out of no where this huge red hawk flies low, cutting throw the trees and I could feel his wind in my hair. He was that close. He was a glorious creature. He was close enough that I could see every red feather.
That had to be the high light of my almost twelve mile run. I wanted to run farther but forgot to pack snacks and I got hungry and all I could think about was going home and making a salad.
I started my run near Green Valley Lake at seven A.M. Damn, it was going to be a hot one, I thought as my feet pounded up the dusty dirt trails. I could hear the ice cubes clinking in my water bottle. It’s a comforting sound on a hot day. As the sun rose higher above me my ice cubes continues to melt. Every cold drink of water was nourishing nectar in my mouth. You never realized just how glorious ice water is until it’s nearing ninety degrees, your two miles from the car and drinking warm disgusting water. When I no longer can hear the ice clinking, well that’s a sad noise.
Every where I looked I saw orange corn flowers were in bloom next to the trail. Even the oak trees have leaves on them again and it appears that blessed spring has finally arrived at this altitude.
I wasn’t listening to music this day. I was hoping if I left the music off I might see some deer. I didn’t see any deer but I did get some deep thinking done.
Amid other thoughts I thought about how my life has changed since I began running. For one thing, my ass looks pretty great for pushing thirty two. I feel healthier then I did a few years ago. My back problems are better. I’m more interested now in people like me, other athletes and people who love getting out in nature. These I’ve found, are good friends and people I can connect too.
I start mentally making a checklist of things I need from Walmart and have to chuckle at how this list too has warped in the last year
SPF Fifty, New fishing pole, New fishing license, Dr Scholl’s Blister pads, running socks, mini air horn, wasp spray, Deet, mosquito net. It’s a different list from last summer; SPF 15, cat food, inner tubes and tequila. Okay, I still do enjoy a margarita now and again, but these days running trumps margarita drinking at the creek.
When I spend my mornings running through these sunny forests, or hiking boulder strewn trails, all I can think of is how lucky I am and how blessed I feel to be living this, my simple life.