Sweet Trails


Pine duff outside of Weston Mass. 1/2 of classic New England running. What you can’t see is that the other half makes your shoes (which are dayglo orange/yellow when clean) and legs look like this:


Trail running is fun.

Lunar regolith
The wind blistered shores of the Hudson
Ancient waters
Thousands of kilometres away
If not millions
A blizzard
An Easter moon’s light pricks my eyes open
In springtime Victoria
Thrashes me around at 4am
Illuminates the interplanetary space
Lays bare the simple facts
That everything is falling apart
Just as everything is being held together
By invisible fundamental forces
By math and physics
And any other human conception
I can settle my mind on
At 6 AM when
The first birds ease my grasp and let me sleep

Dear mom,

I’ve been carrying you with me on my runs lately. A laminated photograph that Sophia made shortly after you passed away. This past weekend we traveled over some muddy trails in the woods of Goldstream park Sunday and Thetis Lake park Saturday. I think of you when I’m in the woods, hear frogs in the dimming day, or see trilliums or lilies or dogwood; when I hear the varied thrush’s plaintive call on a wet spring evening or when the sap starts to run and winter ends. A steady part of our relationship was sitting on a porch some place and talking about nature — trees, flowers, weather, climate, geology. So, my mind goes to you when I’m immersed in those places. Sometimes that talking was a mask over an underlying set of questions I’m not sure we ever really got to. The deeper, more difficult to answer ones. So, these exertions that I put myself through, killing off some cells to benefit the whole somehow is my imperfect solution and maybe I’m doing the same thing with myself. Glossing over the unfilled pits that lurk in my brain in increasing number and which are harder to avoid as I stumble around in the increasing darkness that is my life as I age. These runs are also the cure I could have hoped for you: a run without escaping fully. Without cleaving a life or lives. This post started as an aimless ramble and lo, I barked my shins on another obstacle. These stories and memories always begin so simply, and with such good intention, yet you never know where they are going to take you.