Sunday, August 12, 2001 11:03 PM
Saturday, I ran for the first time since the surgery. I ran very carefully and
slowly at first and not for very long at all. Just enough to see that it worked.
I ran in a meadow as carefully manicured as a soccer field, with few people and
nothing to worry about colliding with. Then, on Sunday, I walked for perhaps a kilometer up a steep logging road, mostly coarse gravel, in my Birkenstock sandals on the way to the lake.
We walked pretty fast uphill until we got to a trail - the trail is the way it
used to be before the logging, when Jessica was a kid and lived in a house near
the meadow I had run in the day before, and then we all took off our shoes and walked slowly
and reverently, barefoot through the forest.
Cedar trees, lichens, moss, rotting logs. Wonderful soft textures. Walking with
conscious feet, feeling as much as we could feel with every step for at least
another kilometer. Eventually, we came to a river with almost no water and
walked along the riverbed. Amazing textures under our bare feet. Mud and clay
and fine sand and soft round gravel, then back onto the trail until we got to
the lake and clambered over massive lichen-covered basalt boulders the size of
cars until we got to the place where Jessica used to dive when she
was 15, and took off our clothes and felt the sun on our skin and dove from the
rocks into a deep pool and swam and swam and swam and each found our own rock to
bask on. I was last to dive in because I took pictures for Jessica with her
camera of her and her sweetie swimming together in the shimmering water.
After an hour or so Michael and I left together, so that the two lovers could
be lovers on the moss-covered rocks in the sunshine. And I had a huge ah-hah on
the way down, teaching him about which berries to eat and how to choose
It's about berry picking as a sacrament, as a direct connection between
my being and the earth. It occurred to me that the very most important time I
have lived may well be the time I've spent picking berries. I can remember
almost every occasion and many of the individual berries. I was totally
overwhelmed that I could remember so much. That's like remembering the
individual ties on the railroad tracks on a train-trip from here to San Diego.
Tour de force ...