Thursday, July 14, 2011

Chasing Dragonflies

Yesterday I ran alone, a rare thing for me because my posse is so amazing.

I dreaded it. 
I craved it.

The first few steps in the morning air were stifling.  I couldn't catch my breath.  I quickly ditched my usual vacation route in favor of a shaded dirt road that leads into the National Park.  

I ran with a pair of dragonflies, watching them on their journey.  They paced me, darting to and fro, hunting and hovering.  The humid air was thick, and large beads of sweat ran down my face, through my eyes like salty tears.  For a moment I wondered if I was crying.

My electric blue and green winged companions were haphazard as they progressed with no flight plan, flitting from space to space.  It was as though they had some invisible road map telling them when to pause mid flight and hover, or when to land on a stick and contemplate the meaning of life as it pertains to a bug with really cool wings.

They lead me on a merry chase, for about a half a mile.  Hundreds of dragonflies took to the air, tag teaming in an elaborate relay as I ran in their wake.  The natural flow of the morning carried me, and I just ran.


I felt my feet under me, the soft sand pulling and sliding as I dug my way up each short incline.  On an impulse I took the trail into the woods that I’ve run past 30 times and ignored.

The first part was sand, but before I knew it, I was on a single width packed trail in the woods of Buxton NC, dodging roots, climbing forest dunes, and flying down the other side.  I’ve never run on a trail before.

I loved it.  

I wasn’t worried about getting lost, this is Buxton, it couldn’t be that long, and I was right, about ¾ of a mile into the loop I noticed it take a turn toward the left.  I was on my way out.

The tree frogs celebrated each glorious step I took with their ethereal song filling the air.  The canopy shaded me.  It was amazing.  I couldn’t even hear my feet under me, the only sounds were my breath and the frogs.  Eminem had no Business here with me on this run.

I just ran.

I "get" this....  I get why people love to trail run.  I’ve never been closer to me on the run than I was yesterday. 

On my way home I realized I had a bit more buggy company, as all the insect repellent I had labored to apply had been completely removed by the copious amounts of sweat pouring off me.

oh, and yeah, I'm running "clear" ~ this is the only photo you'll ever get.

~savor the run~

(a side note here, after my run, C asked me to take her for a run… and really, who could decline that invitation?  She was also kind enough to take my photo…) 


Gaspegirl said...

Sounds like a lovely place to run. I can't wait to be running in Morin Heights next week.... on vacation, it should have a similar feeling to this.

Make it a great day!

Chris @ Heavy Steps said...

These are the days I just look forward too. I cannot wait to enjoy a run like that. You are an amazing writer. I felt like I was right there with you on that run!

Pam said...

"...or when to land on a stick and contemplate the meaning of life as it pertains to a bug with really cool wings." One of my favorite momof3 lines ever!