“Come talk to me“, she whispered to me as we walked outside.
“I’m not sure“, I replied. “It’s been too long. I’m just not sure if I can anymore.” I stammered but I followed. Down the road and around the curve, I struggled in the awkwardness of it. Uncomfortable and unsure. What am I doing? It’s been too long. We just aren’t on the same page anymore.
But we went anyways… together. Up the road, around another bend. A big hill loomed over us. She mumbled almost inaudibly how terrible this hill was. “Seriously, just horrible“, I grunted my reply. “I hate it.” She told me to quiet myself. Save my breathe and don’t waste it away. “You’ll feel better when you’re at the top and it’s behind you. You’ll love it then” she assured me. I doubted her but it gave me hope and I pressed on.
We crested the top and I finally believed her. Turning the corner, my thoughts caught sight of the long road ahead but she shh’ed me. “Stop thinking so much. Just move and listen to your songs.” And I took her advice, pressing my ear buds in securely.
I was so lost in the moment, it startled me when she touched her fingertips to mine and she pointed to a spot giggling… “Do you remember when Scout tripped you there? You had to call Dan to pick you up a half mile later.“
“Oh my gosh… I was SO mad! My dog nearly ruined everything!” I laughed with her. “How dumb was that?“
She grew quiet and I got lost in my music again. Around another bend, down a hill this time. I smelled a scent and she reminded me how different Spring was when you saw it like this. “You’re right. Of course it is, I forgot.” Taking a deeper breath this time, I felt Spring now… the scent, the look of the blossoms on the trees. The buds underfoot and the slight chill of the Spring morning. I was seeing it all again with new eyes.
“How could I have forgotten this??” I asked.
“It’s ok, I haven’t” she replied. And she thankfully had not.
She reminded me of how I’d started. Weak and unable. These very roads, they’d taught me who I really was and what I could really be. The sidewalks I’d traversed, full of doubt but still daring to dream. The serene, quiet moments I’d carved out that had cultivated those dreams. Long miles, filled with sweat and determination. When it was nothing but an unfathomable spark. How I’d held it with guarded fists until it burned with its own fire. Protecting it and fueling it until it was bright enough to blaze on its own. Until I felt brazen enough to release it to the winds… come hell or high water, it was free to find its own destiny. Alive by its own design, it blazed on.
“But I forgot to move with it” I whispered to her, afraid of what she might say when she realized I hadn’t followed it. “It’s probably too late.“
My heart sank with fear at her silence until I felt her fingers tighten around mine and heard her say… “You’re moving now.“
And then, she was ahead of me. I was chasing her… my shadow. My memories, my future. She was with me once again. I knew she was with me. Yes, I was out of shape and winded. But a runner I once was, a runner I could be once more.