So let us melt, and make no noise

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Hey kids.

Since yesterday’s post was pretty grim, I figure I should bring some levity to the situation, lest you all conclude that I’m two steps from plunging into the Fraser River and succumbing to a similar fate to that of British Columbia’s ever-depleting salmon stocks.

(A victim of over-fishing and sea-lice infestations? WHAT AM I TALKING ABOUT HERE.)

Anyways, it’s not as though we can ignore the fact that the worldy goings on of late have been bleak as hell, what with all of the war, killing, and partisan hackery that dominate our political, social, (and unfortunately sometimes even personal) discourse.

It’s hard to ignore these omnipresent and always disheartening realties.

Try, of course, as one might.

It rained for the first time in Vancouver in what feels like years.

We’ve been blessed with such unbelievably warm and sunny weather that I had almost forgotten what it means to live in a coastal, temperate rainforest.

An excellent reminder of the reality? My extensive collection of cheap flats and my ever-strengthening propensity to forget my umbrellas every which place I travel.

What a talent!

Anyways, what I really want to write about is my unwavering belief in the incredible beauty of human connection (particularly in light of (or perhaps despite of?) all the depressing and violent garbage being levelled at all hours of the day, in all four corners of the globe.

Humans are the worst, and yet we are the absolute best.

We are capable of so much terror, greed, and fear, but we also have the capacity to do so much good, spread so much love, and create so much magic.

We have the capacity to meet someone and immediately know them. Immediately know you were meant to know them.

I sometimes feel corny talking about soul mates (but then I question whether I actually do feel corny, or whether or not I’ve been conditioned to think that such topics are corny, what with so many young lads and lasses crying “gauche!” when confronted with raw and real displays of love and emotion.)

Perhaps it’s a mix of both (I certainly lend credence to the belief that there is a time and place to best trumpet your affections for an individual/individuals with whom you are besotted) but mostly I am just one giant love warrior with a massive ax to grind.

(Love ax, mind you.)

I so firmly believe in soul mates that sometimes I feel like my heart is so full that it just might break into hundreds and hundreds of pieces in the hopes that each fragment might be gifted to all the amazing individuals who have impacted my life in ways both uproarious and profound.

Sometimes I meet someone and I feel this connection, and I just want to stand there in front of them and proclaim, “THIS IS MAGIC. TELL ME THAT YOU FEEL IT TOO.”

(And while confident as I am that they would too feel this link, I do sometimes think of the sensation I get after having woke from a mind-jarringly real dream featuring a good friend or even acquaintance when I am left wondering again and again whether or not “they could have dreamed the exact same dream?”)

Can I really be the only one who just experienced/is experiencing this?

Human beings, I tell ya.

What a bunch of strangers in an even stranger land.

So as always, I turn to my life coach and imagined grandfather – Mr. Ray Bradbury.

“You have to live in a cloud of emotions. You rev yourself up. Give yourself time in the middle of the afternoon, or when you’re waking up early in the morning, when you’re in that kind of wonderful, euphoric state in-between, on the verge of dreams when you get a kind of nuclear bombardment of all kinds of fragments of ideas jumping around inside your head and hitting each other. They begin to fuse and detonate each other. It’s a very hard thing to describe. You don’t have any control over your mind at a time like that, and you don’t want it, see? Let it run wild!”

Hell yes, Mr. B.

I’m all about running wild.

Just try and stop me.

For Boston

I’m having a hard time finding what it is I want to say.

I started Running when I was ten years old. I capitalize the R because anyone in my family will tell you that I have been running since the moment I started to walk.

My formal training didn’t start until the summer after grade five when my dad would take me out with him on short routes on Saturday mornings.

I absolutely loved this time we spent together.

Those minutes, hours, kilometers, miles, defined by an intimate ease, a shared love. Moving our legs in unison, marking our way in the world with nothing but a simple stride.

Sometimes we talked, sometimes we didn’t.

We’d run the length of Jericho beach, past the old concession stands, and the gleaming, gorgeous, newly erected “Beach Cafés.”

We’d watch the gulls swoop and glide overhead, listen to the roar of the surf, hear the shrill trill of an approaching bicycle bell.

Our sun-baked skin, glistening in the heat.

Our quiet breath, constant.

Arriving home my skin would smell of sweat, and sunscreen, and the sea salt air, and my shoes would crunch underfoot, coated with a golden sand.

I would stand exhausted in the middle of the entranceway, feeling the remains of the run course throughout my legs, my arms.

With each pump of my heart: around, and around.

Around again.

Seeing what has happened today in Boston has struck a chord inside of me and – I just don’t know.

I don’t know as a human being.

As a sister. As a wife. As a daughter. As a friend. As a runner.

I just don’t know.

I have run so many races.

I have loved each experience so much that I’ve always found it hard to properly communicate what it means for me to participate in these events.

They are camaraderie.

They are fearlessness.

They are grit.

They are endurance.

They are excitement, and heartbreak, and exhaustion, and triumph.

They are love.

They are human beings getting together and doing something that they love.

Together.

Running may be a predominantly solitary sport, but come race day, those other runners are your peers.

They are your friends.

They are your support, your energy, your kick, your drive.

They encourage you, they test you, they make you run harder, and faster, and longer, and better.

They make you better than you ever thought possible.

And for someone to see this, and decide that they are going to take this away – that they are going destroy a peaceful event that serves as a support and conduit for all these amazing traits of humanity – well, it breaks my heart.

And I see these pictures everywhere and I cry.

But I also know that nothing can come from my tears.

So I think about how one day I will have a child.

And I will teach them to be a kind-hearted, open, supportive, loving person.

And I will take them running with me.