Some days I run just to clear my mind. To escape from my thoughts.
But today I cannot out run them.
I run on “my” little prairie for its solitude and beauty. The summer wildflowers are now blooming.
The challenge of the grassy trail and the relentless hills require concentration. I am “all in”.
Until I'm not.
After a mile and a half I slow to round a corner and my thoughts overtake me, crashing over and crushing me, as the humid air wraps around me in a claustrophobic hug.
I have no choice.
The warm energy of the Iowa summer-time green growth seeps into my muscles, even as it sucks the life from my bones.
I wonder: If I lay down on the trail and stay still long enough, will the prairie absorb me? Will I become part of this wild green?
I've stopped at one of my favorite places. The view here is vast and sweeping. The prairie teems with life. The air vibrates with the hum of industrious bugs. Bird songs ring high and twee. Rabbits dart across the trail. The tall grass is restless in the wind.
And yet it's so wide open – here on this small patch – that I feel isolated and lonely. I marvel at the pioneers' determination and drive. Imagine crossing this small patch a thousand times over!
I give up. I give in. Admit defeat.
I turn off my runner's watch.
Ignore miles and time and pace.
I lay down and let the prairie take me.