As I step out of the truck I see a couple on the other side of the parking lot. They are talking, smiling and appear to be enjoying each others company. The air is tepid for a late October day. It’s around 1:00 p.m.; I’m at the park for my run. As I briefly watch them, I am reminded of my years when I wore a younger mans attire, when I was running after lasses, instead of running after youth and fitness.
I make my way to the trail to begin my run around the park. The autumn air feels exhilarating flowing in and out of my lungs. The trees are starting to transform to red, yellow, brown and the many hues that make the autumn such a splendid image to behold. The sumac has lost its leaves and the berries are all bundled in a rust tinted cluster. The tulip poplars glimmer with yellow and the leaves have begun a steady surge to earth. Other than the pine trees, the miles of kudzu are the only greenery remaining in the park. Winter is being shoveled in.
I press the button on my watch to record my efforts for the day. Immediately, my body wants to rebuff. These days it seems to take much longer for my body to loosen up or relax. Nonetheless, I have no intentions of stopping or giving up. I have too many miles to go before I follow the tulip poplar leaves back to earth.
These are the days I treasure the most, when everything seems to flow or drift with poise. If only all days could be like this one. As I scamper around the park trail I appreciate just how perfect this day is. I find myself yearning for more days like this one, days when my senses are stoked and everything is enlightened.
My thoughts revolve back to the run. I have already covered the 6-miles I had planned for the day. I found myself surprised that it was over, lost in the euphoria of it all. I decide to walk an extra loop around the park just to be able to observe and immerse myself in more of the autumn day.
John Muir was correct when he said. “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”