I didn't fit my 7-mile mid-week run in before sunset yesterday. Depression ensued as hopes for a "perfect week" were dashed. The stony silence that accompanied me must have made for terrible dinner company. Poor Alec and Brent. Then, a brilliant idea flashed through my head. Why not run after dark? I live in a safe neighborhood. I have a headlamp. Of course! Brent hated the idea but I would hear none of his objections. After reading to Alec at bedtime, I headed out the door.
I selected main roads to run along since they were lined by sidewalks dimly lit with lampposts. Oddly enough, I had never run there before, maybe because the route seemed dull. By starlight, however, it was an exciting adventure. The cool, moist night air felt refreshing against my skin. I couldn't see my feet hitting the pavement below. I only felt the soft bobbing of each footfall; I felt strangely disembodied. The rhythm was soothing, and although my pace was faster than normal, it felt effortless. My thoughts drifted, my mind quieted and went still. "So this is what I'm supposed to do during the meditation phase at the end of Yoga....but it's always so much work in Yoga," I thought to myself.
My normal mindset is a blind rush of madness as thought after useless repetitive thought races through, exhausting the essence of my being. However, the effort I must take to quiet my mind and relieve my stress is so inordinate; it seems like so much work. I just exhaust myself. Nighttime running quieted my mind, body and soul so completely, it was like a gift had been bestowed upon me. Running soothes my mind normally anyway but at night, the effect was ten-fold. It was magical. Instead of thinking, analyzing, examining, I just observed. I became aware of my surroundings, how wonderful my body felt; I became fully present. The miles flew by at a breakneck speed as I lolled off in my reverie. I could have stayed there forever. I felt fully recharged when I returned home, infused with a mystical energy. Odd that to slow down my mind, I have to speed up my legs.