Driving, showering, running. Epiphany times. I think sometimes the blog I have created paints a picture that is not necessarily accurate. I don’t feel my life is tragic. I don’t regret anything I have done. Do I question myself and pray to gawd e’r day to send me a friend? Well, heck yes. But there is so much to admire in this world. Things to take in, then let go, and prepare for death and the next transient experience. These are the things I believe. These are the things I feel. Things are the things I want to be with.
I’ve started running five miles at lunch, sometimes it’s timed, but mostly it’s to take in these windy Wyoming high plains I have called home for 13 years. I run from my house to cross the train bridge downtown to get to the green belt. On the west end there is a little garden area that is watered by the same woman every day. She wears a floppy hat and khaki pants and we are like two hands of a clock passing each other at different tempos. She a pendulum, I a metronome beating to the glorious rhythm of life. Her hose sprays from patches of grass to hollyhocks as she takes care of this tiny pseudo-garden juxtaposed by trains and a tall cigar shaped Union Pacific landmark that would be too much trouble to take down. She has surrounded three sunflowers with a small enclosure and each living thing has become its own landscape its own piece of art. We never talk but I appreciate her so much for what she does and how she takes care of a corner of the world that I have come to love.
As I continue my run along the dark gray paved green belt I’ve started to see another wonderful woman whose beauty strikes me. She has a curious gait and bends her elbows at ninety degrees swinging back and forth like the tin man yet so fluid she floats. Animated yet subtle. A wonderful paradox, a metaphor for running, for life. She is so beautiful and smiles at me every day and I wave and smile back under my salt and sweat soaked ball cap. I think as I reflect and remember she is some kind of temporary angel whose human beauty matches the beauty of the land. Her smile becomes like golden leaves in fall and her eyes reveal the blue that is lost in the green gray of the Laramie River. I want to see myself as I see this woman and how she takes care of that corner of myself that I will come to love.
The locusts are everywhere in August and September and they flutter and hop and greet me while I wonder how much frost it will take for them to become dormant and spawn again. I occasionally mistake them for butterflies and who is to say they can’t be butterflies with short spurts of flight zipping across the path yellow, cream, gold, black, brown. I mistook a frog for a locust friend the other day as he sat with his nature-green-paisley back to me and I wondered why this locust wasn’t zipping and then he hopped like a tiny surprise, an expected yet anticipated phone call. Just a bit up the path there is a grove of trees like an inviting painted alley welcoming whistling, trotting, and other hidden street activities.
And then there are those things not as conventionally beautiful—the freezer company across the field, the row of billboards to the east, the college apartments around the bend. The river goes down and down in the dry August days and in parts it has become filled with bacteria and algae and I look over a bridge and spit into the water thinking how I would never bathe there. Its color a light stony green like the eyes of a ex-lover when he was stoned. But it is the home of other living things that need that space to live. I stop under the bridge too and see the “lover” graffiti that I see all over town—it’s not elaborate and I create a picture of an annoying seventeen year old in my head who things lovers are worth using graffiti tags. While all isn’t pleasant it’s all there to observe, to witness, and then to let go. And when I smell the whiff of a cigarette from a loud truck I remember it is often those things that are the hardest to love that we need to come love.
“Our minds influence the key activity of the brain, which then influences everything; perception, cognition, thoughts and feelings, personal relationships; they’re all a projection of you.”