A midnight run up Mt. Tzouhalem. 500 m of climbing. Left the car at 11:30PM. Why? Why not just go to bed? It feels crazy. I can only do it because I have no kids and my girlfriend is asleep after a long 24 hours of midwifing. I do it thinking of her. I do it thinking of future runs and self worth and the simple pleasure of moving and for the long day spent in an office chair. Thinking of cougars lurking in the forest around me. The trail pierces upward through fog, into and out of forest and meadow and rocky ridgelines. My own bubble of head-light and glimpses of town lights growing more distant below. Until I reach the top. And look down on the Cowichan Valley and see the thin fog lit from below by mercury vapour and sodium arc and LED. An impressionistic patchwork of beautiful color below and sharp pin pricks of stars above and frost glinting in the grass around me. I feel triumphant and like I’ve seen something and that’s enough to send me back down the hill to my car happy and almost confident that I wont get cougared or stranded up there somehow.
These sum it up. Mountains. Freedom. New places. (click image to be immersed)
The violence of compromise pre-exists in me.
The ionic trace that leads electrical discharge;
Fissure in sun-baked wood guiding the maul
The crevassed ice shelf before it splits off
And drowns half of humanity.
Lightning exploits the compromise
As does the wood
And the ice
And the heart.
And keeps other elements
From thunderously splitting apart;
Keeps the machinery grinding along
Gears gnashing into and out of mesh
Keeps your hand from gliding down splintery wood
Too quickly, too firmly; keeps the slivers from bone.
Ah hubris in running strikes again. Less than 48 hours after stepping off the crispy Thursday trail all energized I was curled in a ball on the side of the Juan de Fuca trail projectile vomiting 1 1/2 liters of water and remains of breakfast for the second time in as many hours. My one day run of the Juan de Fuca with the fun runners of Victoria was not to be. Somehow, I still want to run.