It’s almost late July. I’ve lost track of whatever my running goals were and I’m writing less frequently. I plan for short runs because of the heat, but I lose track of time or miles or both and just keep running, lost in thought, running away or running to.

Last Sunday, I wandered a full 13 miles. I had a rough idea that’s what I was going to do despite the heat — once I started I just couldn’t turn around, another mile, another mile, with a final vision that at sometime I might make home again. I counted 7 black capped night herons at the spillway among the egrets. By mile 9, I wasn’t sure this was such a good idea. I had to reorient. I couldn’t spend the next four miles fixating on a goal so far away. I shifted to a recognition of the now. NOW is the only time on this run that I’ll be on the 9th mile. When it turns to 10, I will never run the 9th mile again. It is here and yet passing at the same time, forcing me to the surface of the moment, working against my tendency to future-cast to later in the day, quelling the need to push up the “after” before I’d even finishing “during.”

That seems to be how summer goes. So many hot aimless days. It is so long, yet we waste it wishing for Fall. Aimless, wandering, sometimes difficult, and lost; there is something very cathartic about finding the unknown edge of something. You didn’t know until you got there.

Writer, researcher, observer