I've mentioned with what is no doubt a sickening frequency that I live in the forest on a mountain. It's a little eccentricity I have to obsess about it. About four times a week in the late Spring, Summer and early Fall, I gird up my proverbial loins and go for a run on the trail behind my house. It's gobsmackingly beautiful (I'm testing your patience to see just how many times you're willing to put up with me using that word: gobsmacking! gobsmacking! aaaand gobsmacking!). The trail is peaceful in a way that I find hard to convey. Everywhere you look, there is extreme Beauty of the sort that makes you feel pleasantly small and insignificant. Before you know it, an hour has zipped by and you've hardly registered the fact. You've been too busy watching the white butterflies drifting lazily around the blackberry bush blossoms and the occasional leaf zig zag slowly to the ground. There are countless birds flitting about and there is the infrequent mole or deer to factor in. What you don't want to encounter - and luckily thus far, I haven't - are the bears and cougars. I'm not one of those fluidly silent runners and the great noise I make while lumbering through the forest has thus far been enough to keep the more carnivorous animals at what I imagine is a wary bay.
The plump blackberries are ripening fast just now and are a bit of a distraction if one is keeping track of running times and distances. The trail, though it is mostly shaded by the massive cedars frequenting this area, and therefore lovely and relatively cool even on the hottest summer day, showcases sporadic shafts of gossamer sunlight that bring to mind Lothlorian of Tolkien lore. You half expect to see FairyFolk peering out at you as you run past. It's a true rest for the spirit to run here and when you arrive at home, sweaty and profoundly unattractive, you feel centered and happy, fulfilled and lucky.