Where (or how, or in what) do you find peace and joy? Where do you teach your children to find these things?
Did you ever run six miles through the woods in crisp, sunny weather while the leaves are changing colors? It’s unbelievable and one of the only things I miss about our town in New Jersey. Trail running is less available here. After I drop off my daughter, I do a 6.5 mile run a few days a week, but only about 2 of those miles are in the woods. The rest is on a paved park path or through neighborhoods. Still, there’s that pounding on my joints, the feel of the road giving way beneath my feet, and the waves of miles falling away behind me.
I don’t listen to music while I run. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to inundate her sensory system with noise at a time when she could be alone, completely alone with her body and mind. If I’m going to listen to music, I want to really listen to music, not do it with the half of me that’s not running. And if I’m going to run, I want to really run, not do it with the half of me that’s not listening to music.
Punctuation soothes me – except for the daily frustration with apostrophe abuse. Music awakens me. Colors and smells engage me. But running takes me deep within the hands of the world.
I used to run with Benjamin, but he grew frustrated with the limitations of his body. We do walk together, though, and walking is a less intense form of the same thing. But I can’t teach my kids to find peace and joy. That’s a lifelong adventure, and one that each person has to take on his own.
Perhaps, like me, they will settle into themselves each night with a book, which is the other place I feel wholly me. Clearly, Zachary already has this little problem. Or maybe it will be building like their father. It could be yoga or cooking or herbal tea or bungee jumping. It’s all about the journey.