January 12, 2012

A Return to Within

Today I had a pure, clean run. Usually I am all wired up, ipod strapped to my arm, a cord snaking up my sleeve to headphones which perch uncomfortably behind my baseball cap. And with every stride, the ipod case slowly slips down my arm and the ear buds pop out.  

And if I become overheated and want to peel off my sweat shirt, it becomes a real production; I practically need a stage crew to help me change set. 

And if I am jogging with my excitable Labrador Retriever and want to extricate myself from that sweaty sweat shirt without losing the rhythm of my music, it becomes dangerous. (I once tried to hold him back by stepping on his leash, but just as I was pulling the sweat shirt over my head, he bolted after a cat. Blind-folded by fleece and twisted up in wires, I spun around like a top and pirouetted to the pavement with a clunk.)

I know I am technically challenged, but these contraptions do not add ease, tranquility or speed to my jogging life.

So today I ran out the door clean. Wireless, music less, and serene. I had the over-excited, tongue wagging, tail flapping dog--and yes, he stopped at most trees to sniff and leave his calling card. But the morning was fresh, calm and quiet.

It had been raining heavily the day before and the parched earth was bathed, giving off a rich, fresh, fertile smell. The hibiscus flowers looked brighter, the blue lavender fuller and the purple lantana deeper. Birds chattered from the date palms. My feet padded across wet sidewalks, skirting puddles and my mind wandered and darted, free as the parrots that darted overhead.  

I felt expansive, grateful, free. No distracting phone calls urging me to stop. No bbms pinging me and no percussion drumming into my brain. Silence. It is a rare commodity in these times and if we don't stop to listen to it, we can so easily become frantic, off balance, ill.

The world continues to race along as technology works faster.  And us? We are being pulled away from the ground and becoming tangled in its wires.  Turn off the phone and listen to the birds. Be it celebrating Shabbat, taking a run in the park, and a walk on a crisp, fresh morning, we must pull back and return to that pure, clean place within. 

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