A couple of Saturdays ago I ran a 25K at Brazos Bend State Park. Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise that I wrestled with the flu Thursday and Friday before the race. I say a blessing because lack of nutrition forced me to slow way down, even though I felt pretty good that morning. Runners often live by the watch, which if you think about it is a microcosmic reflection of our society where—pardon the cliché—time is money.
There’s something to be said about not giving a flip about time. I enjoyed this run more than any in recent memory. It was an overcast day, a little humid, but the woods were lush and verdant. The alligators eyed us with suspicion but left us alone. I saw deer. I didn’t see snakes. The equestrian trail was muddy, parts of the hiking trail were rocky, and I almost bought it on a root or two, but I loved it.
My point, of course, is that we need to get out of the house, shake up the routine, and ignore the clock (and money) for a while. You don’t have to run a 25K. Hike a mile, go fishing, have a picnic, ride a horse or a bike. Just get out and connect with nature, with the earth. It’s a pretty good one. And when we remember how good I think we care about her just a little bit more. Dr. Jonas Salk, the man who developed the polio vaccine, aptly said, “Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors.” Running at Brazos Bend that Saturday morning reminded me of that. After all, I don’t want my grandkids or great-grandkids to be left with nothing but a wasteland.