Misty mornings on the mountain are beautiful. They are so beautiful that they are distracting. This morning I found myself stopping ever so often to photograph spiderwebs that had been highlighted in silver, or the seed heads of grass stalks shimmering with dew droplets, transformed into miniature chandeliers.
Finally I stopped clicking away with my phone camera and settled into my run. The sun had broken through the misty cloud and it was beautiful and clear higher up. I decided to follow a path that I had not used in a while and headed off. it was a little overgrown but still familiar and all went well until I decided to turn for home along another loop of the same path – that I thought I knew so well.
For some reason or other the path had decided to reproduce during the Winter and now sprouted baby paths – which all looked exactly the same. I ended up in a zig – zaggy confusion. Although I was lost as to the path, I was not lost as to my whereabouts. I could clearly see the plateau below and other various landmarks. If I wanted to I could make my way down the hill through the long grass and over the rocky terrain to another more familiar part of the trail, but I would have preferred the comfort of staying on a path.
Eventually however I decided to be sensible and scrambled down the hill and out onto the next plateau which I knew quite well. I was back on track again and enjoyed meandering down the rest of the way and finally to my vehicle.
Once home I went through the various photographs and material I had taken on the trail as I usually do. On this run I had stopped to take a short thirty second video of a particularly breath taking vista. I had remained as quiet as I could during the filming of it, hoping to also capture the trill of the bird call that was so lovely in the back round. My intention was to send it to someone and in so doing share my lovely experience. When I played the video through first to check that it was as I hoped it would be, there was no bird call or song of any kind. This had been completely drowned out by the sound of my rather heavy breathing, from the exertion of the climb. Way too creepy to send to anyone and it would have certainly not have had the intended effect!
This however got me thinking about breath and the automatic and invisible process of breathing during a run. In meditation one is taught that ones breathing can be used as an anchor point. The breath can be focused on as a practice of calming and centering oneself.
During a run, unless one is gasping up a hill or pushing far beyond ones comfort zone by ‘speeding’ (which I never do!), breathing is taken for granted. It is the simple act of one breath leading to another and one step leading to another. In doing this I am moved forward – for a little while at least. I am taken out of the 24 hour auto wash, rinse and spin cycle of my life. Creativity also has this power. The power to lift upwards and forwards, even if just for a little while, from the wear and tear and the hum drum of everyday life.