It was flying through the air at full force, I think because something was chasing it. It hit the window with a loud bang and fell to the ground below with a much softer sound, feathers swirling all the way down. It left behind a perfect imprint of wings fully splayed as they smacked into the inch-thick glass above my kitchen sink.
So Dad picked up its body and threw it onto the roof for the hawk on the telephone wire to see. If a dove had to die, he said, it might as well provide for something else.
The hawk seemed young to me when it came some minutes later and carried the other bird away. I looked up and tried to see where spring had gone.
It’s hard for me to tell days from other days when the sky is like this, the color of a dead dove and completely still. I can’t remember how many weeks it’s been and today I wrote that it was May.
I looked at the calendar to see that it was the 19th and finally I realized we are in April. An entire month has gone by and to me it’s felt like one very long day.
The morning is the inhale – the first air that is taken in, and held there –
Some days are more deceptive than others like a warm Thursday afternoon that manages to convince you there is nothing left to do;
It leaves you anticipating the rest. The first breath that is fully taken in and fully released in a few easy seconds. Knowing everything else may be paused for a while.
But then you remember: the light is not orange because it is summertime, when the days are so hot they seem to melt into one another, but rather because it is 4pm on a Thursday afternoon, and you are wearing sunglasses because the days are only shorter now.
And because it is a Thursday and not a Friday, you can only breathe partially.
And so the evening is the exhale – the same morning air that never really escaped finally does, though it won’t return until the sun comes up again tomorrow –
And we grow used to that feeling. Or at least I do.
I don’t know much about most things, but I do know that some things are just supposed to happen, and some are not –
I know that the moon is supposed to rise in the east and that dogs are supposed to bark at each other through chain link fences and that pomegranates are supposed to stain my shirt sleeves
and I know I would never want to be inside when they sky looks the way it did tonight.
But I’m not so sure that things are supposed to be like this;
I am not so sure that the pepper tree I stopped at today is the same type of pepper tree that I grew up with. It didn’t remind me of home in the same way they usually do. It should have been familiar to me, and it wasn’t.
I’m not at all sure of people like you, and I am not sure that the world should be melting and that we should all just be okay with it.
How should I be allowed to miss things before they’re gone? How can I possibly miss you when my hands are on your face and you’re standing directly in front of me? I’m not sure how that is even possible, and yet I do.
I must remind myself to look up every once in a while.
If anyone was wondering, I made the sun come up faster.
I’m not sure how or why or exactly when it happened, I just know that a few weeks ago I was running in the dark at 6am and now I am running in the light at 6am.
I don’t have the time or energy right now to figure out how to read the stars or alter the path of the sun or anything like that, but if anyone out there has any insight to offer, I would love to hear it.
Looking back on my past thoughts, it’s funny to see how much changes and how much stays the same.
A few months ago, it seems as though I was fascinated by time and weather and all sorts of things. I still am now, of course, but I guess that I just already got it out sort of artistically, so it’s not as much of a pressing issue anymore.
It’s cloudy today and it rained a little bit in the morning. It feels like everything is clean. I still miss the sun, though.
And I think I will always be fascinated by the weather and the sky. I just always will be.
For quite some time now, I’ve been trying to find God.
It’s not that I feel I’m lacking something without being a member of a religion, I just find it fascinating how people feel so empowered by so many different faiths.
In some ways I’m jealous of those people, the ones who know whole-heartedly that there is some higher power out there to guide them.
I know a lot of people who are skeptical of religion and, in some ways, I am too.
But, I’ve come to the conclusion that good people don’t use the Bible or anything else to justify hate or harm. The people who make excuses in the name of God are hypocrites in the truest sense and are ignorant by thinking that just by adhering to a faith will guarantee a better life or afterlife.
I think there is so much we can learn from religious texts. Even if you don’t interpret them in a spiritual sense, I think that anyone of any faith or background can gain something from the lessons in them.
From my perspective, the main purpose of a religion is to give people a sense of purpose or fulfillment and to help them live the best life possible.
So if this is true, then I’ve found my god.
I find my religion in the wilderness. I find god in the trees and in rivers and mountains and the sunshine.
My god makes up everything that is natural and wild. It teaches me to live the best, most fulfilled, and positive life that I can.
Since I’m currently training by myself, I get to decide where I run. I avoid this road as much as possible. But during cross country season, when I’m at the mercy of my coaches, most of our workouts involve the road in some way.
Going down is smooth sailing. Going up is hell.
The road is more like a hill, a giant, mile-plus long hill. It’s on a constant incline and, as you get closer to the top, it gets steeper.
At first, I absolutely loathed this road.
I always hated it in the beginning, because it turned even my best runs turn into something that made me feel like I was putting myself through torture.
The road is sometimes unforgiving. The more you climb, the weaker your legs feel, the more your lungs burn, the more you feel like your brain is about to explode.
I used to fight it. Each day, I felt like I was preparing for this great battle, in which only one victor would prevail: me or the hill.
But, eventually, I started to realize that it wasn’t really a battle of physicality; it was more so a battle of wit. I learned to work with the road instead of against it and things started to make more sense.
I learned to take advantage of even the tiniest bit of downhill, to take the straightest line possible. I started to read the road, to take note of how it felt when I ran a certain way.
To this day, I still don’t like running it. But, I’ve learned how to do it properly.
The road used to be some foreign, intimidating beast that I thought I would never be able to understand. Now, I realize that it was really just an old, wise mentor for me, my very own Mr. Miyagi.
Last night, I was headed up the road on the bus and, as I looked out the window, I knew exactly what point we were at solely based on the glimpse I caught of the tops of the oak trees. It made me smile, seeing how far I’ve come.
The same miles of curving pavement that used to seem endless to me are now ingrained into my memory, including details down to which tree is positioned where on each corner.
The countless days of practice, all of the sweat-soaked t-shirts and aching muscles really did pay off, in so many more ways than for just my running.
If only I knew back then just how much I would come to understand the road and how much it would come to understand about me.