by tim ljunggren
watch her from the sidewalk as she passes by. She has rediscovered
the miracle of breath.
She glances my way and gives me a quick smile and a wave.
I smile back and yell, joining the chorus of our children as they
cheer her on: "Go, mommy!"
lightly touching the ground, her body moves with a leonine grace.
Muscles expand and contract in perfect rhythm.
away from me now, her stride becomes more powerful, more insistent.
She's almost at the finish line, and I can see the electronic clock
ticking off the time: 00:22:46…00:22:47…00:22:48…00:22:49-each
second transposed into the reality of flesh and bone on pavement,
of sheer movement forward, of determination, of sweat poured forth
and given as a holy sacrifice.
takes me a few minutes before I can reach her. I have to make my
way through the throng of people milling around, keeping a watchful
eye on my son and daughters as they follow me. "Do you see
her?" I ask. "There she is!" my oldest daughter says,
pointing the way.
slowly, hands to her hips, her skin glistens in the mid-morning
light. Her face is slightly seared with sun and effort, and I marvel
at her raw and exquisite beauty.
are times when I feel like running has become her Lover, that she
is openly engaged in a passionate relationship encompassing her
mind, body, and soul. I stand back and watch, feeling jealousy well
deep within me. I cannot give her what this Lover gives her.
I see that powerful and insistent stride. That fluid motion. That
melding of flesh and will. I see that something is born again-something
as old as human time, something as young as the next race.
that's when I realize that I will gladly share her with her Lover.