Friday, April 17, 2009

The Friday Ramble - Running

Running - it is one of those words which we are always hearing in conversation, and we seldom (if ever) consider its origins. The word dates from before 900 CE and traces its origins back through the Middle English rinnen or rennen, the Old Norse rinna or renna, thence the Old English rinnan meaning continuing or partly continuing. In modern speech, the word describes rapid forward motion undertaken for the mundane purpose of arriving somewhere in a great hurry or a flap and sometimes (but not very often) for the sheer pleasure of it.

Running is a flowing and truly elegant thing when done properly and in the right frame of mind. It's a moving celebration of life and something of a meditation, maintaining perfect balance and equilibrium and floating along a few inches above the ground, clear and focused. In my younger days, I loved to run, although not particularly graceful and seldom (if ever) poetry in motion. I loved my early morning jaunts, the feeling of the wind in my hair and the day coming alive around me, the good dark earth rolling away under my sneakered feet like a spool of satin ribbon unwinding into the early light. On those morning runs, the world was a place of magic and infinite possibility, of grace and a sense of belonging here.

Every sentient creature on the planet runs, at its own speed and in its own way. Every waterway on the planet, from madcap intermittent springtime creeks to unfettered mountain rivers is running somewhere, and singing as it goes along. Laughing, all rivers run down to the sea, and they know their way there. Tossing their manes, horses run like the wind, and so do wild felines and coursing canines like wolfhounds and lurchers. They were born to run, and they know it, beyond any shadow of a doubt.

Over the years, I have spent countless hours sitting by rivers or leaning on old fences and watching wild things in motion, and it has always been the very best sort of time. I marvel at the seemingly effortless movement of rivers and wild horses and canines through the landscape - at their joy and their certainty that they are meant to be here and doing this liquid floating thing in this exact moment, one with the plane they are moving through. We could all use a little more of such feelings of nonduality and passionate certainty in our lives, and the speed at which we are actually moving is irrelevant.


Endment said...

Today I need to sit by a river --- in stillness participate in its running.

Lil said...

cate, one of my favorite things is to stand in the middle of running, rushing stream and feel the wildness of it's flow push against my legs. So I understand your facination completely....


Artiseternal said...

Beautiful post.
Gurgling or roaring, whispering or chortling as it moves toward the ocean, clear running water is one of our most precious things on the planet.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts - you've got quite a way with words.