I’m running through the woods barefoot in the dark. I am the ground before my feet touch it, so I don’t make any missteps.
Running in the dark is really good for my awareness. I don’t look, but I know it when I run past a squirrel in a tree, and when a grouse ducks down closer to the ground in the bushes as I run by. I stop when I sense a bigger animal ahead of me in the grassy marsh. Maybe it’s my imagination, but maybe it’s not. I sit down, reach out and grab the first thing I touch. Yarrow. The smell is so strong. I stand and walk quietly through the marsh. My toes curl in the wet mud, and I know I need to walk slow and quiet, but slowing down is making me lose my awareness. I don’t know what’s around me, which is all the more reason to go slow. Slowslowslow. I make my breathing all a big circle with no pauses. It works, I can feel around me again. The moose has wandered off the trail behind me to the left.
Ten more steps of slow, I tell myself. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. Run! Someday I’ll learn to be slow and still pay attention. Maybe tomorrow I’ll do fifteen or twenty steps.
My feet stop when I come to a field of geese. I love geese. In addition to being very yummy, I can never exactly understand them and it makes me want to hang out in fields and watch them all night. They make these purring sounds. I don’t know if they do it in their sleep, or if they are grooming eachother, or what. I’ve noticed that sometimes they make these really slow midnight migrations through the feild. A couple of them will wake the other ones up and they walk a little bit, but then they get distracted and fall back asleep, and then few other ones will wake the up and they’ll walk a little bit more. I’m not sure if they do it all the time, or if it’s just when I’m there because I freak them out. Sometimes they migrate towards me tho, so possibly it’s not the second. I know I could read a book and learn the answers, but I don’t want to. I want to learn from the geese. Or from someone who’s learned from the geese. There’s a definite lack of geese taught mentors in my life, though, so I spend the night with the geese.