I move through the days as a series of slow steps, a circling round and round again. The rhythms repeat and sometimes I feel the weight of the earth laboring in its turning. When each day melts into the next I know it’s time to change direction, time to shift the gaze and trip myself up.
Last night I went for a run, starting over again, as I have been on a rest to avoid pounding this tender heel. Who knew plantar fasciitis would take so long to heal? I’ve been doing the stretches and taking ibuprofen but still, some days the pain makes me walk funny and I feel old and fragile. Finally, I could not wait another day to get outside and feel the sun on my face again, pain or no.
So I lumber along and I am aware of the long break from running in my lungs and once again I rail against the injustice of it all, drive my body all the harder, feel my muscles protest against this sudden demand after the long holiday, and there is an odd sort of pleasure in this pain. I am on the edge of despair as I approach the steady rise of a hill lifting up before me.
I have forgotten that I do this thing for pleasure, that it makes me happy to explore my little valley on foot, that I feel good in the doing and for the doing. This doesn’t feel good. Frustration at the loss of months and years of conditioning runs alongside me, when I hear a voice in my head clear as a bell:
There is no hurry.
These words fall like a stone into the middle of my striving, then lose their weight and float before me like a feather. Suddenly, I feel lighter too.
There is no hurry. Aren’t we all heading in the same direction? There are things I want in this life, yes, good things. I run toward them blindly, sometimes. And I forget what is best. I forget to see the way the sunlight falls, all golden in its descent behind the hills. I forget to hear the invisible sparrow’s song from his secret place. I forget the pleasure of studying the cracks in the pavement, how water flows into the lowest places.
There is beauty in the repeating rhythms of every day, if I slow to see it. I, too, will bend low. And be quenched.