I ran at night. Five miles. Just me. Everyone was shut in behind closed doors on this rainy night. No cars, no people. Just me.
It had been raining for 2 days straight, with little opportunity during the day to get out and run. I used to run freely in the dark, either before sunrise or after sunset, all the time. But since becoming a mother, whatever small risks I once took before I can no longer bring myself to take. My life is not my own anymore. I feel a deep, compelling need to care for myself in order to be here, fully healthy and present, for my son.
Back then I ran without fear, with a goal of miles ahead of me and a fierce determination propelling me forward.
I don't run toward the same things anymore.
Still. This rainy, cool, dark night, I really needed to run. My mind felt full of anxious clutter, a ribbon of sadness tying it all together rather than letting the clutter dissipate.
I wore bright, visible colors and headed out into the rain. I kept to well lit roads and marveled at how different it is to run at night.
I am invisible. I feel anonymous. I feel--at once--fearless and fearful. I cannot see where my steps will fall, nor can I see the vibrant colors I am attuned to during the day. Instead, I smell more, I hear more. The absence of light and color makes me more aware of sounds: trickling, dripping water everywhere; my breath, even and alive; my steps, the only human sound.
Running toward stillness.
I returned with a stilled mind and space to create.
I could not see the way I usually do, so I "saw" many different things that usually go unnoticed. Sensation of the air, strung together moments before my feet fall, in-between spaces floating in the air for moments between footfalls, seeing and not seeing, momentary reflections. I noticed countless pools of water, visible because of light reflecting upon them. They will be gone by morning.
I did not pick up anything, but I took home the memory of reflective pools of rain, strung together on every road and path. Illumination in the dark.
I ran toward stillness and brought some home with me.