run: 3.3 miles
trestle turn around
humidity: 87% / dew point: 66
A birthday run after it rained. Not a downpour, just a light shower. Everything felt cool until the sun came out and my body warmed up. Saw Dave the Daily Walker and we talked about both feeling sick a year and a half ago and meeting on the trail (march 13, 2020). He wondered if we both might have had covid. I’ve wondered too. Probably not.
Tried to see the river, but couldn’t through the veil of green. Greeted the Welcoming Oaks and intended to count the stacked stones on the ancient boulder but somewhere between the last oak and the boulder, I forgot. What happened in those 5 or 10 seconds? I think I was distracted by the clanging of a dog’s collar down below. One of the reasons I decided to run this morning was to travel through the tunnel of trees right after it rained. Everything is dark green. But by the time I had reached this spot, it had lightened up too much. Still, it was peaceful and shaded and green. I quickly glanced down below me and thought about how not being able to see the forest floor (because of the leaves and vines) made me feel higher up–floating or flying in green air.
There’s another spot on the trail, not too far past the old stone steps but before Minnehaha Academy, where the trail splits: the bike path stays above next to the road, the running path drops slightly and hugs the side of the bluff. Any time of the year, the running path is narrow here, being so close to the edge and because of a big tree at one spot–what kind of tree? probably an oak–but it becomes even more narrow in the summer when the all the green comes. Today, it was a tight squeeze. Running through, I felt the dew from a few reaching leaves.
Found this poem on poetry foundation when I searched for “rock.” My family’s farm (sold in 2004) had lots of rock piles and they were part of the legend of our family as Puotinens who persist.
Rockpile/ Robert Morgan (1985)
Sprinkled with a luminous dust
of moss and algae, the rocks seem
alive in the sunken woods, bright
as Christmas balls or peeled and
rotting globes, their maps just rags
of lichens and their worlds oblong,
broken, dented eggs. And ferns feather
through the edges of the mound like
a circle of fire around the cairn
or fallen monument. But no
pagan elders worshipped here or
committed sacrifices on this altar.
Though five or six generations
of children carried the stones out
of a field, pried them up with picks
and poles, heaved and toted them
like curses to the edge of the woods
(what frost had worked to the surface
each year like tubers and bones)
until they had a chimney’s worth
and more, piled for snakes to thread
and poison oak to wind. Though fields
they cleared have been woods for a century
and the kids who struggled the weights
from clay are now grandfathers of
grandfathers, each with his own stone.
About 10 years, I created a digital story out of old footage STA took at the farm:
swim: 3 miles/ 3 loops
lake nokomis open swim
I felt strong and didn’t stop between loops–I paused a few times to clear my goggles or adjust my nose plug or try and see where the green buoys were. I would like to try for a 5k on Thursday.
It feels like it’s getting harder to see the orange buoys. I am not having any problems staying on course, but I’m relying more on other landmarks. Is this a sign that my vision is declining more? Or, is it just where the light is and how it hits the buoys?
Things I Remember From My Swim
- Someone was playing a drum somewhere and whenever I briefly paused at a white buoy near a beach, I could hear the thumping. I asked STA, and he said they were playing by the overlook way across the lake. Wow, that drum was loud!
- At least 2 military planes roared overhead in my 3rd loop. They were so loud that several other swimmers stopped to look up
- I never really saw the green buoys other than the idea of them being there–not a flash of green, but a quick knowing of where they were and a sudden surge in my stroke as I confidently swam towards them. Strange
- The green buoys were so far over that the course was more like a square than a triangle
- As I said to STA, it was a birthday miracle that I didn’t plow through a few swimmers. They were swimming backstroke which, for some reason, made it more difficult to see them. Why? Were their heads lower in the water that way?
- One of the backstrokers bumped into me
- I breathed every 5, with a few 5 then 6, and a couple every 3
- No fish or dragonflies, but some milfoil got stuck on my head, near my goggles for a while
- A few worries: will I be stuffed up after this? is my calf cramping up? why are my goggles leaking slightly?
- Near the end of my 3rd loop, as I approached the big beach, my shoulders felt strong and big and wonderful
After typing that last bullet point, I noticed a line from Walt Whitman’s “Song of the Open Road” that I taped on my desk that seems fitting:
I am larger, better than I thought.
I did not know I held so much goodness.
What a great birthday!