A Lion had come to the end of his days and lay sick unto death at the mouth of his cave, gasping for breath. The animals, his subjects, came round him and drew nearer as he grew more and more helpless. When they saw him on the point of death they thought to themselves: “Now is the time to pay off old grudges.” So the Boar came up and drove at him with his tusks; then a Bull gored him with his horns; still the Lion lay helpless before them: so the Ass, feeling quite safe from danger, came up, and turning his tail to the Lion kicked up his heels into his face. “This is a double death,” growled the Lion. ~Joseph Jacobs translation according to wikipedia
6:00 Am at the foot of Martin, the Sunday run, the usual suspects…everyone felt good, well, everyone but me. I had my best week of pre training-6 runs, 3 core workouts; the downside is that by this morning I am tired and not really rarin’ to go. From jump I let them go and stay in my pace. I have lots to think about, mostly I have the book proposal due at the end of the week. Fog in rain bowed droplets drifts past the headlamp, headlamps bob in the forest ahead. Silence grows, the chatter gets further away. For awhile there is only me, my light, my breath in clouds rising into the cold morning air. Thoughts of pride intrude, of being left behind, of having become the old man in the bunch, once the fierce leader of many a posse, now an old lion running steady but far behind the young ones. And yet, with a glimmer of pride and hope, still in the hunt. No wonder, I think, the polar bears put the old ones on the ice, or is that “polar” legend, and old lions become jackal bait. For now though what’s left is to keep truckin’, to slow down and get it right, to suit up and show up and rely on my experience, my faith and my community. Old lions ain’t dead, they just old and it takes a little longer but what they know is that sometimes longer is better. And that thought makes me smile although to see it some might call it a wry and a little bit dirty for a morning smile.If longer is all you have, then it is the product of what has come before. Slowing down and smelling the roses is not always a choice, sometimes it is an unexpected gift.The herd of deer and I watched each other for a few minutes and then we both went on our way. Fox Hollow Road ran empty this morning, no one but me, the creek was low, the coffee afterwards was fine. Another day on the trail, another few miles, Sunday morning came in on the heels of the disappearing herd and the rising sun. Grace is where you find it.