The Running Practice of Love

Running is for sweat in the breeze. Dog-panting is good. Running is an act of Love, a dedication, a practice for bodies, heart and hot life. Imbued with fire where Great Spirit comes down to roll out the red road and we, coyote and roadrunner, sprint trails along thunder and pine. Great Spirit come down to visit you, Love, satisfied in your small successes. For it is a great success to get up and run in the morning, or at night when the dusk settles down into nests and roofed gables and you go out to breathe your lungs into life, limbs heat, sweat salt for dedication, body who lives. When you run, take your whole body with you, complete animal forms. Encourage it with words of affection. Catch light that enters your chest with a leap of the heart when you are tired and make your back straight. Loosen your neck. Let down your shoulders. Look for adventure wherever you go, tracking Great Spirit there. Into the shapes and the colors of the world given freely, free body, free air, free heart and legs to run into the practice of love. Doesn’t this feel good? Every few days I go out and take up the red road and I am completing, dear brother, a part of the world. Putting whole-world back together again. It fits in the palm of my hand, tucked up in the runner’s arch of my foot. I yearn more and crave less. Not too full a belly. Eat a little good and enough. Complete the circle of humans who run. Run for the ones who can’t run but yearn to. Run for the ones who didn’t want to run though they can. Take your body of joy to the streets and do not set expectations for records or beatings. Records are beatings. We go more tenderly. Run, open lunged and deep chested, to the next tree, next shadow at the end of this street, at the end of the sidewalk dropping off into grassy oblivion wilderness, run. Make time for the hummingbird to beat his wings with you. One small work of love at a time for humankind to follow behind you, adoring the tracks of Beloved who came this way before. Keep going, sweat streaming. Find wonders here. Run off the weight of the pain and the sorrow and self-doubt. Commit to this again and again. No competition. The weight of the heart is the true burden. The pain of self-doubt is the only real flab. Run to go love yourself, catch up with your spirit, the edge of the blue and brown desert painting California Dali. Run to tell Coach he didn’t take it from you. Run to tell them all that you & Great Spirit now own this. Run to make a way for the animals and the children and ancestors yet to be born. Run to love your own life, your own breath, the life that will live forever this moment to the end of the block. Slow to a stop at the end of the sidewalk where your mind becomes quiet and you recall, body buzzing electric, being a small child running ecstatic for glory down a block like this for a ball kicked by a father or friend.


photo by howo, Creative Commons Public Domain.

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