While Running by Mark Nepo

To see takes time.
~Georgia O'Keeffe

While running in May, I saw a neatly trimmed hedge, and sprouting briskly through its symmetry were scraggly blue flowers wildly obeying no form. It made me smile, for I have spent many years resisting being pruned and shaped. I loved how the wild blue just hung there above the hedge.

While running in June, I say an older man put pruning that hedge. He was so involved: Clipping gingerly, then backing up, sweating through his eye, as if the world depended on his diligence. I was touched by his care. We nodded briefly, and without a word, it was clear that it wasn't the hedge, but that he needed something to care for. 

While running in August, I came upon a slim fountain gushing from an unseeable center, as high as it could, reaching without arms until it ran out of reach, and at its closest to the sky, it began to fall back on itself; always what was rising up replacing what was falling away. Sweating and heaving, I realized that is what it means to be free. 

  • Breathe deeply, and call to the part in you that needs to care. Embrace it.
  • Sit quietly, and call to the part in you that resists being pruned. Affirm it.
  • Breathe freely, and call to te part in you that after reaching falls back on itself. Bless it.

By Mark Nepo


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