The A2B Journey – 617.0 Miles, Route 66, near Seligman, Arizona:
The run today down the Main Street of America was clear and quiet. The Aubrey Cliffs to the northeast are strikingly magnificent and majestic. Amazingly beautiful! They appear at times like fortress walls protecting the valley. I wonder how many times throughout the ages that this scene had been the source of strength and inspiration for artists and passers-by alike.
Looking ahead, the starting point for the A2B Run along the Grand Canyon South Rim Trail is in sight! Less than 100 miles away!
Lately, my stretches have been more heavily focused on my quads, my left IT Band, and iliopsoas. So mostly around the thighs, especially on my left leg. Pre-run music gave me the patience and time to stretch longer.
The extra stretch time allowed me to start at a target pace and lengthened my stride a bit. Nice!
The sidewalks and paths seemed quieter than normal this morning! So were the streets and intersections. With less traffic distraction, I was able to enjoy more abundantly the morning air and sunlight.
At one point, two little chipmunks came out of the woods to my right and ran right alongside of me for about 20 feet before darting behind me to the other side of the street. It made me laugh to see them just running along.
Feeling pretty good in the last mile, I increased my pace a bit. My body did not protest enough to warrant any concern. So feeling that my body is ready to work on the next incremental goal, I finished my run happy and thinking ahead to future runs.
The Mind (Thoughts While Running):
While stretching, I often thumb through social media to pass the time. This morning, I stumbled onto the music video below that a high school friend had posted.
Instantly, I was completely captivated by the music, words, and images that passed before me. (At this point, my stretch routine stopped being boring.) Being moved, I watched the video several times. I watched once without sound so that I could take in the images more fully.
I ran without music this morning as the clip continued to play in my mind throughout the run. As I visualized the stream of images, I was reminded of the all of the ways that our senses impact our lives. For example, the feel of water flowing across the skin. The way light and color can enrich any experience. How the timbre and texture of sounds can make us move or feel more deeply, even the sound of a voice or how a pleasant scent makes us breathe in and can enhance the taste of things. In awe, I wondered at how fuller the senses can make our lives, if we choose.
It sometimes surprises me the power that a smile has. I found myself smiling back at the smiling faces as they appeared in my mind.
As I continued on my run, I found myself continuously mesmerized by the eyes of the people in each scene. In most cases, eyes offer a more truthful view of a person’s heart or character. Every emotion can be expressed and communicated solely with a look. There have been moments in my life when the wordless glance or gaze from another has haunted me, filled me, comforted me, and in a few cases, changed me.
I appreciated how the video highlighted the soulful need for solitude, silence, and stillness. It reminded me of the wonderful catharsis that can come from turning honestly inward.
By contrast, the clip accentuated the value of companionship. The need to hold and be held. To love and be loved.
Throughout the video appeared a quiet series of scenes that demonstrated the powerful release that comes from acceptance. And the freedom that comes from real forgiveness.
I loved seeing the joy that mere movement brings to every person, regardless of culture or environment.
The final scene lingered in my thoughts all throughout the run (though I could not figure out why). I have often said (and fully believe) that every age has its gift.
Finally, as I re-considered the age-passing portrait of the woman, I suddenly understood that there is true beauty in every age. Especially in the eyes.
Do you have any thoughts? Anything different that you saw?
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Or in the comments section below.