Friday, November 4, 2011

On a run in the woods

The leaves crackle with frost and my breath comes quick and ragged. The puddles wear a skin of ice and the sky is a cold morning blue. I have dragged myself out of bed to go running in the woods. My sneakers leave muddy prints on the edges of the path as I weave to and fro, eyes fixed ahead. I feel my heart beating behind my ribs and the faint echo of a stitch in my side as I round the corner and head towards the pond. The wind whistles along with me. As I splash across a puddle, I think, "WHY am I doing this again?"

I am out here running in the silence because my heart is too loud. After coming back from Relevant, from Zoe and Lisa-Jo as company in the warm hotel room and from the patience of rocking a baby in my arms, I can't hear myself think.

I can't hear myself talk, or question, or laugh, or ponder, or love. My heart clamors with voices: do this, Hilary, be that, Hilary, did you finish... did you turn in... did you find the time to email.... can we make a meeting with... and in the rumbling I can't hear anything.

Has that ever happened to you? You're so full to the brim with voices that you can't find your own? Your heart, with all its rooms and hallways, feels too crowded for you?

I pass a small evergreen tree growing on the side of the path. Its green is shocking against the fading fire of fall. As I pass by, it bends in the rush of air and seems to wave me onwards. Hilary, there is something good around the next corner. 

I keep my head down and try to listen. A bird calls to its neighbor somewhere above my head. I see her shadow dart just in front of me, and she is off, singing as she flies. Hilary, there is something good up ahead. 

The clouds find their reflection in the glassy puddles and as my feet dart around them, I see my own reflection flash across the water - Hilary, here you are. Be where you are.

And then, just as I feel my heart begin to empty out the voices, the to-do lists, the half-finished anxieties...

The sun rises over the water.

The light bursts forward into the day and the water shivers and everywhere, everywhere there is the miracle of sunlight.

Yes, Lord, I could run like this forever.



  1. i think we've all been there, at some point, hilary. and truly, it's a point that we continue to battle through life. it sounds like you're doing exactly what you should--pressing on toward the goal, looking to the One who has the answers, and stilling your soul for a moment to just listen. praying for you today, friend.

  2. Oh this resonates deep with me, Hilary. I ave been there and find myself there too often, so much noise, too many voices... There IS something good up ahead, if we just keep going! Praying for you, sweet friend. I hope your weekend is peaceful, and that you hear him in the quiet moments ;)


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