To state the obvious, I really love the outdoors.
I also greatly adore the act of running and the benefit, in moving faster, of getting to see more of the beloved outdoors in a days time than would be possible at a slower pace. Not that I don't enjoy hiking, walking or even just sitting beneath a canopy of open sky. I do, but, it is while travelling more swiftly that I find my greatest solitary joy. A perfect blending of the release that is physical exertion and the inspiring exhibition of natural, remote settings, trail running makes me infinitely more capable of filtering out those things that might normally distract me from a full appreciation of how miraculous life can be.
Between science and all its explanations, the facts and figures that dwell within the phones and computers that have become appendages of our everyday, a globe that acknowledges having been explored, mapped and demystified, it has become all too easy to shrug off the miracles.
But they do exist. Not just out on the trails, but everywhere.
I know it in my heart and all five of my senses confirm their existence if I heed the data those senses collect.
Feebly, I am unable to prove it or convey it to others.
Walt Whitman, the grand old poet who died on this very day back in 1892, was not so feeble.
As a teenager, I can remember reading his works and trying to fathom the scope and grandeur they evoked. I couldn't. Filled with flourishes and exclamations, his poetry refused to NOT acknowledge the wonder in all things, physical, spiritual, natural or man-made.
He praised action, physicality, movement, mountains, prairies, forests and oceans, but, within capacious musings, he cast light not just on athletic feats or the most fetching landscapes, but also upon the seemingly mundane, the otherwise shadowed or overlooked.
So on this day, in remembrance of an icon's passing but even more so in honor of his having lived and done so on such a grand, celebratory scale, I set my own sights on becoming ever more receptive to the joy of all things.
Rest well, Walt, and thank you for the prompting that ever leaf, every blade of grass is indeed a miracle.
WHY! who makes much of a miracle?
As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach, just in the edge of the
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with any one I love--or sleep in the bed at night with
any one I love,
Or sit at table at dinner with my mother,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive, of a summer forenoon,
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds--or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
Or the wonderfulness of the sun-down--or of stars shining so quiet
Or the exquisite, delicate, thin curve of the new moon in spring;
Or whether I go among those I like best, and that like me best--
mechanics, boatmen, farmers,
Or among the savans--or to the soiree--or to the opera,
Or stand a long while looking at the movements of machinery,
Or behold children at their sports,
Or the admirable sight of the perfect old man, or the perfect old
Or the sick in hospitals, or the dead carried to burial,
Or my own eyes and figure in the glass;
These, with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring--yet each distinct, and in its place.
To me, every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same;
Every spear of grass--the frames, limbs, organs, of men and women,
and all that concerns them,
All these to me are unspeakably perfect miracles.
To me the sea is a continual miracle;
The fishes that swim--the rocks--the motion of the waves--the ships,
with men in them,
What stranger miracles are there?