During today’s long training run I had plenty of time to reflect (trying not to think about the heat and humidity ) on life; its randomness and its synchronicity the duality of Tao…
These thoughts initially started on Friday while running the bike path in Colt State Park. There’s this section of the path where gulls like to drop shellfish to crack them open. The path is littered with fragments of shells large pieces to very minute ones. The randomness of the sizes reminded me of people and their lives — How random longevity and abundance is… I know there is some control with our health by how we care for ourselves and wealth can be earned but there needs to be a certain amount of synchronicity or fate…
Today I was reflecting on how the bike path is like life’s path; There is beauty and there is danger. People who are focused only on their own gains and people who are looking out for one another. Everyone is sharing the same piece of earth going at different speeds and directions, trying to connect with friends and family while trying to avoid others we happen upon. There are bumps, briers, and blind curves to be aware of, yet among all the potential dangers there’s amazing natural beauty to admire. A lot like life don’t you think?
If that isn’t enough, the bike path has been recently repaved, and with that it’s gotten narrower and more dangerous. Rather like peoples’ mindsets — Also more dangerous…
I know this post is a bit heavy but so is my heart a small boy lost his life on that path a week ago, a random cruel accident. Which has made me more aware of my life’s path and how important it is to be grateful for my piece of shell…
Run, or walk your path well…
Two weeks ago browsing in Barnes and Noble I happened upon a book by one of my favorite teachers Pema Chodron, COMFORTABLE WITH UNCERTAINTY. I didn’t realize at the time that it was prophetic!
I’m a very structured person. I like schedules, routine and “certainty”. However 2018 has been less certain than anytime I can remember. Whether it’s a universal shift, my getting older which means my family is getting older therefore more susceptible to illness or I’m just more aware…
A day doesn’t pass without me hearing of another friend, family member or some associate suffering from a loss, a diagnosis or some other issue or another. Which has made me keenly aware of how fragile it all is and how very little control we have in anything, except our reaction to what is happening.
These past months at my martial art studio has been a whirlwind of activities, which has kept me in high gear without a break – Until this week. You’d think a simple week off would be filled with R&R – No. Instead surprises daily, sick staff members, auto accidents, miscommunications. Then there is the scheduled car service that got messed up, closed restaurants, revamped lunch plans ect, etc, etc. The list is endless!
I react with a deep breath, be grateful for the moment and carry on… I run the streets of my neighborhood, the local bike path and today – finally Colt State Park. Where by putting one foot in front of the other moving forward realizing the only certainty is this step and this breath, that the only control I have is my reaction to the beauty surrounding me, knowing that life isn’t perfect, but there are moments always unplanned that you feel perfectly content being “as it is”.
I love how scents can evoke a memory whether it’s the smell of food from your child hood or a cologne from a loved one. Today’s run by the bay brought back so many memories. As I came down surprise hill in Colt Park (Bristol RI) I inhaled the unforgettable scent of sea air. Suddenly I was back in 1960 something riding the Prudence Ferry to Hog Island and summer camp. Where we’d march to swim lessons and free swim and had the time of our lives and when the day ended we boarded the ferry once again singing songs and anticipating which lollypop flavor our camp director would give us, but there was much more we’d all sit on pins and needles wondering if this would be our day to “drive the ferry”! You see each evening Hector Massa (our camp director) would choose a few campers to “drive” the ferry with Captain Manny Souza. We’d be seated on a high stool and hold onto the giant ship’s wheel with captain Souza “assisting us”. What an incredible view of this beautiful harbor we’d have.
The sea scent continued to jar my memory to the wonderful times I had with my dad and my uncle Danny at the Bristol Teepees. My brother, cousins and I would swim, snorkel, raft and the most fun having our dads toss us into the air to dive. The day seemed to go on forever it was always a highlight of the week when we got to go.
Then there were more memories from the Bottom of Maple Street in Warren where we’d swim with my cousins and their neighbors when we visited my aunt Virginia. There was a large rock that came into play during high tide and the always fun adventure of walking on the railroad tracks (now the East Bay Bike Path).
There are the times spent with my mom clamming or qua hogging (she couldn’t swim and this was her only beach pursuit).
My memories took back to the mid seventies when I live in Newport and would head down to First Beach for a walk and to listen to the surf. Walk the cliff walk or sit at the Purgatory Chasm and take pictures. Flying kites on second beach or riding around ten mile drive and Fort Adams.
The sea air is my tonic, my zen, my home…
I decided to take the path less run today, and hit some of the wooded trails in the beautiful state park in my home town. I don’t often run trails mostly because of time constraints, however I had an errand to do this morning, close by one of the most beautiful parks in the world and decided to veer off the pavement.
The woods in southeastern New England are ablaze with color and the musty scent of autumn, coupled by the scenes of Narragansett Bay that can be viewed through the foliage today’s run was art in motion! The runner in me was ever mindful of the uneven terrain but the photographer in me was scanning views for potential shots after the run. As I came out of the woods and by the town beach I had the delight to watch kite surfers manipulate the wind and the water in what appeared to be a thrilling ride through the chop.
Obviously none of this would have been experienced out of my front door and onto the streets of my neighborhood, which reminds me of why its important to look for new places and challenges to run. So if you haven’t tried off roading in running shoes you’re missing something wonderful!