The sun was shining today, warming this frigid October canyon and breathing life back into my world, which for the last few months and weeks had felt stale, repetitive, and worst of all: normal.
I’ve always known that I wasn’t cut out for the work-a-day world with its schedules, its suits and suitcases, alarm clocks and drycleaners. My spirit flourishes in freedom, like a kid running full-speed down a steep hill with arms outstretched, making airplane noises (seriously, try it some time). So this life of full-time retail has been getting to me. I know it’s all about saving for my next adventure, and about repaying some debts, but I’ve been sessile for too long, and the gypsy in me is getting restless. Really, really restless.
But today felt different for some reason. As I said, the sun was shining (and I’m a sucker for sunshine) so I decided to go for a run. I cruised my clickety clackety car up the steep hill of Cold Water Dr to Greenridge Park, where I jogged down the path and hopped the familiar fence by the water reservoir. No Trespassing or Loitering, a sign read. I stretched and fired up my trusty old iPod, opting for the soothing sounds of Sam Beam’s Iron And Wine as I so often do.
The run was good, shirtless, sweaty. The sun and the sweat on my skin, the winds (of change?) blowing through the trails and swaying the gold and green foliage that framed my favorite vistas. The horizon was mostly clear and you could see all the way to the Bay Bridge, the water sparkling below, the City of San Francisco hiding behind a shallow grey veil of fog.
This trail is off the beaten path – it’s all private property, partly owned by the county, partly leased by a nice man who cleared the trails to ride his mountain bike over the last few years. It’s probably my favorite place in the East Bay. I enjoy the run itself, all hills and tight calf muscles. I also enjoy the solitude of a trail that no one else runs, the escape into nature, and the hippy sentiments that it brings out in me – I’ve run through parts of those trails naked, wearing nothing by my New Balance running shoes. True story.
Sorry folks, but today I kept my clothes on, not interested in hippy freedom, but instead pushing my body to the limit, sprinting up hills and making the most out of the run. I ran for over an hour, detouring down a steep side trail that seemed to wind endlessly downward, and doubling back through a trail I call The Maze that loops its way along the ridge, shrouded in tall brush.
So, why am I writing about this run? What was it about this day that inspired me to update my blog after months of inactivity? I’m really not sure.
Things are changing in my world right now, that’s one thing I can be sure about. I’ve been planning on leaving California after Christmas, and while I haven’t managed to save any money, I’m working on a project that should yield a bit of travel cash in the next few months. Where to go? What to do? Still not sure about that one.
Vancouver for the 2010 Olympics? might be too cold for this sun-seeker. South America? I know it’s cheap, but I don’t know if I’ll have the funds. Back to Australia? I could work, and I know it’s paradise, but going back might feel like going backwards, and I’m all about moving forward.
Since I’ve been back in California, there have been plenty of reasons to hang up my backpack and try to settle down, maybe even start looking for a real job – time to grow up, some would say (and many have). But are these reasons just fleeting feelings? Does it even matter? I’m a dreamer and a dream-chaser, and when I happen to catch one of those dreams, I miss the chase – and I know it’s time to dust off my traveling hat and strike out towards new horizons.
A poet / engraver / brilliant madman named William Blake once wrote:
He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in Eternity’s sunrise
Good advice, i think. I want to devour life like Jack Kerouac and I want to live in Eternity’s sunrise like William Blake. So, I’ll take the Joy and the love and all the good things as they come. but I’ll not hold on to any them. Not yet.
Right now, you’re probably all wondering what the hell I’m talking about. And that’s okay – because I’m not quite sure either. I’m in a weird place right now, and it’s only getting weirder.
So stay with me folks – more to come soon.