Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust
I wondered where I had lost it – why I had lost it; the it that made me feel alive. It vanished seemingly into thin air and life lost all its flavor. I would run but there was no joy in it. My words slipped away like water through cracks and suddenly I was dry and empty. I looked around at a world I no longer knew. It lost all meaning and became shapes without form, a two dimensional backdrop to my drive to and from work.
I was bewildered and lost. Life whirred by me while I stood still, uncertain. There were no feelings, no thoughts, no impulses. Nothing.
And then something stirred and like the sudden frustration that comes from being wrapped up and restricted in a narrow sleeping bag, I kicked and squirmed until my body and limbs broke free from the bag.
“What is wrong with me?” I screamed into my soul.
The sad, begging question echoed through my mind as I sat rooted in the oppressive and heavy stillness. I became a desperate animal looking for escape. There had to be a way out. I had to move – do something – anything, to get it back. My mind searched the windswept lake-bed of my soul. Somewhere in this barren landscape was the answer – there had to be an answer.
I walked inside myself, entering the quiet world within and scanned the infinite horizon. Nothing stirred, no breeze blew, but my nostrils caught the faint scent of dust. My mind conjured up the soft rhythm of patting feet on sand, puffs of dust rising up from the disturbance and filling the air with a thin trail of particles, and it awoke.
I had to run, not on pavement, not for exercise, but on the earth, for connection and nourishment. It had nothing to do with losing weight, looking good, or staying fit and had everything to do with how I felt. I had to feel movement. I needed the tides of my soul, the rhythm of my existence, back.
When my feet hit the trail the resuscitation was immediate. Life came rushing in and filled my lungs. I could breathe, I could feel. My muscles tightened, all the parts working in harmony to get through the soft sand, over the rocks, and up and down the gentle contours of the land – I was alive.
I breathed in the sun-warmed air tinged with earth and dust and thought, “We are made of the same stuff.”
My mind examined this thought. Somewhere in the cells that make up who we are, there must be code set to long for and return to the elements that we are made of. Rejuvenation, healing, and restoration happen in nature – the closer we get to it the more at peace we feel. No wonder we struggle and suffer; we need it – and ultimately rejoin it whether we drink from its cup and find nourishment there or not.
“All came from the dust and all return to the dust.”
Posted on May 30, 2016, in Nature and the Environment and tagged ashes to ashes, connecting with the earth, dust to dust, earth to earth, feeling alive, nourishment for the soul, Trail running. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.