“Talk of mysteries! — Think of our life in nature, — daily to be shown matter, to come in contact with it, — rocks, trees, wind on our cheeks! The solid earth! the actual world! the common sense! Contact! Contact! Who are we? Where are we?”
— Henry David Thoreau
I love running on the track. The simplicity, the purity, the mindlessness that allows you to drift off in your thoughts. But there’s one thing missing: Nature.
If we’re running on a trail, bees are just part of the game. Keep moving, don’t make eye contact, inconspicuously drop a honey packet in your running partner’s hydration vest.
On the track, you don’t expect them. But it’s Day 2, and they’re still there.
Mo was skeptical they were alive, so she went in for a closer look. They assured her they’re just fine and not accepting visitors. Mo then reminded me she’s allergic to bees, the clear implication being that I should take one for the team. Luckily, running isn’t a team sport.
And so we make our rounds, one eye on the bees and one eye on Fast Guy in Lane 9 (it’s the last cool day of the year today so he’s jettisoned the Blue Gatorade and is just going with Rockstar.)
Nature. We have a coyote living next door on the dirt-road runs, a swarm of bees on the football field. A reminder that wherever we are, we’re still part of nature. Who are we? Where are we? On a track in the desert accidentally communing with nature. The solid earth. The actual world. Contact! Contact indeed.