I’ve often noted that I believe insight is everywhere, as long as you remain open to it. I’m defiantly not an intellectual snob: recall my discussion of something I saw in Glamour magazine.
Lately, it’s the tree on a residential street that is near the end of my run. This isn’t the first time things I’ve noticed something on a run that has made my think. Maybe this is a series: seasonal reflections while running. In winter, I was struck by the difference sunlight made. One side of the street, in shadow, was crusted with ice and snow. The other was wet, water flooding down the pavement. Nothing took away the substance – water – but the power of light changed its form entirely. Like inquiry, like honest discussion, I thought: in its light, things we fear lose their grip.
Last week I ran in the rain. The world had a quality of light that I associate with a spring rain: clear, but vaguely pink-tinted, everything even crisper and more itself than usual. I had to duck through the branches of the tree I mentioned because it was so heavy with white petals, soggy with water. For blocks after I brushed through the branches, white petals flew off me as I ran. The tree – and the world – was literally heavy with beauty, so replete with excess gorgeousness that it shed onto me, spread itself everywhere. I kept hearing Kate Chopin in my head: “Pirate gold isn’t to be hoarded or utilized. It is something to throw to the four winds
A few days later the rain had dried and as I rounded the corner I saw that many of the petals had fallen off the tree. I didn’t have to duck anymore; the tree, while still fulsomely dotted with white petals, had sprung back to the shape I was accustomed to. I glanced down as my feet slipped, though, and noticed the sidewalk was a blur of white petals.
Beauty – physical, experiential, emotional – is evanescent. Drink it in, and fling the petals all around you, while you can.