The road of life gets hard sometimes. It’s not a journey for the weak or timid, not if living is the intent.
You see, I love adventure and she loves me. That’s why I risk the travel at night. It would be easy when night falls to find a place to hide, to curl up in a deep hollow and wrestle with my own fears until morning light, but without risk there’s no gain, and life favors the brave. You could say it gifts them with the real living.
And it’s not that I don’t love the light. No, that’s not true at all. I love it and think it loves me back, or else it wouldn’t kiss me as often as it does. Yet the bright world is common and mundane, filled with hustle and bustle, overflowing with security that takes away most chances. That’s no way to live. It’s too safe, that’s all.
Besides, I’m not scared of suffering along the way. If there’s no pain, there can be no pleasure. I keep going even when tears steal my sight. Wounds teach me and inspire me. That’s adventure bringing me wisdom wrapped in anguish. Like all trusted friends, she won’t hesitate to hurt me when that’s what I need most, and she knows better than others that it’s what I need most if I’m going to do more than just survive. In the end, it’s the best gift, and she gives it freely.
I keep running even when the grade gets steep. Darkness makes it more difficult and it’s easy to stumble, but she’ll be there. Hurt me if you must, but keep me going anyway.
Wild beasts are all around. Sometimes I can feel their breath on my skin; sometimes I can hear their breathing as though they’re right beside me. I don’t let them back me down, though. The night’s their world, I realize. They need to know it’s mine, too.
The path isn’t always clear. Even when I stick to the centerline, that’s where it’s darkest, I think, so seeing my way isn’t always easy. I’ve gone astray before, been distracted only to find myself adrift. Now I’m leaving breadcrumbs behind. I may not know what I’ll find next; at least I know how to get back.
Call me a brave sprinter who races into the night. Call me hell-bent and a risk-taker. Call me foolhardy. Call me reckless and dangerous. Call me what you will, but remember to call me one of the living—a runner.
[after posting Runner yesterday, I decided to write a sequel; it’s in the same spirit but a different tone]