Running is a prayer. It’s the time I commune with the Great Spirit that is within and throughout all things. You can call it what you want God/Goddess, the Universe, but if you know what I’m talking about you know what I mean, it’s all the same big wonderful spirit soup.
The most mystical of runs often have humble beginnings. They are usually the outings I don’t think too much of. This Saturday i was too lazy to get up early and lug it out to the trail so the dog and I stayed in town to get our miles in. Possibly boring but at least we’ll get it done.
The weather is perfect. Slightly warm, sunny and still. Zoe and her dog aggression issues seem to be getting better, which is a point to rejoice over. We pass a few dogs with almost no nervous tension. This has been a big battle for us. She used to love to play with other dogs and then suddenly she didn’t like them anymore.
We try to find nature where we can on these runs in town. There’s a little corner park where you can go down to the creek. I let Zoe off the lead to splash in the water and cool off. A few blocks on the sidewalk turns to a pleasant, shaded dirt path alongside the road. I take these dirt paths as far and as often as I can. We head uphill along one of these paths on a pleasant shaded street.
The pace is leisurely but my mind is racing. Storms are brewing at work and there are battles that I just can’t win and have already lost. At this late point in my life I’m craving a career change but I’m stopped in my tracks by the enormity of such an undertaking. My mind has been going ‘round and ‘round in circles on this and there’s no solution. It has depressed me for some time now. I wish I could just retire.
We come to a hairpin in the road and Zoe is visibly happy about it. She’s not a climbing dog…she’d rather bomb the downhills. We turn the hairpin and start descending. About 20 feet on Zoe starts slowing . She keeps craning her head around to look behind us. I turn to discover that we are being followed.
It is a lovely young doe. She is small but obviously very healthy with a rich light brown coat the color of teakwood. She stops when we stop and pricks her large teardrop shaped ears forward. She’s at attention, but in no way nervous. Curious she is. She takes a few steps towards us.
Zoe obediently sits on my command and remains calm. It’s someone with even bigger ears than hers! She watches us and switches her ears lightly as I talk to her. She steps a few more steps forward on impossibly dainty hooves.
We stay like this for several minutes. I eventually break the strange bond that we’ve formed and move to run off. The deer looks at us for a few moments and then slowly turns and saunters uphill in the opposite direction.
I wonder what she was thinking of us, what her impressions were. I’ll run here again soon and see if we meet again.
I smile the rest of the way home from such a gift. I feel that our encounter had some sort of meaning, that in due time I’ll discover. Such a timid, wild creature in town and curious and trusting of me and my beast. She appeared at my lowest mental point and put a little magic into my morning. I’m looking to connect the dots and when I do maybe the answers I’ve been looking for will become obvious.