As Long as You are Still Breathing, There's More Right With You Than There is Wrong with You
It had been weeks since my last run. An invitation from a friend. A last minute decision to run along the Boise River greenbelt to avoid the snowy, slush of the foothills. Our initial access point at Veteran’s Park was closed due to construction. We thought for a minute about climbing over the signs and fencing, blocking the way. Instead, we turned, found our footing on the icy blacktop and made an alternate plan to meet at Whitewater park. I was underdressed, leaving my core vulnerable to the soft, wintry elements. I admired my friend’s astute preparation for a December jog. The contact between us felt warming and close as we made our way across the slippery surfaces to the bridge entryway that would take us over the Boise River, giving us an access point to the blackened asphalt going east and west for miles. We watched curiously, for a moment, as a man dressed in black from head to toe breakdanced on the wet mulch of a playground; we have both seen this human before. We turned and moved our eyes toward the trees that provided a natural boundary between Quinn’s Pond and strong current of the river - a yin, yeng of stillness and churning. I couldn’t help but notice that in the top of a leafless black locust tree, was an enormous bald eagle, turning her head in smooth, shifty ways; I wondered, quietly, “What is she looking for here amidst all of this concrete and noise?” I pointed, wonderingly, to my friend, who was quickly consumed by the sight. Our heads, tilted upward, fixed on what we could only imagine was a fantasy we had co-created, separately, yet somehow, also together. After a couple of minutes, a woman, noticing us, traced the diagonal trajectory of our foreheads and positioned herself next to us and audibly gasped. Full of feeling, the bird pushed herself into the grey air and with big swooping motions, sailed almost directly over our heads, imagining for a moment the prospect of myself as her prey. The big, powerful sounds of her outspread wings somehow holding the space we were all in, as we watched, longingly as she moved toward the mountains amongst the chaos of dispersing seagulls, and disappearing eventually into a horizon of silver snow. Our mouths as open as our hearts. Is this what is meant by Ram Dass’ expression of the heart cave? To start again, to become that trusting, open, surrendered being? I imagined this in the sacredness of that auspicious moment, lengthened out in our bodies. I hold the feeling of this in a deeply, prizing and careful way - sensing that I’m only part way in to this beautiful mystery.