Fast shoes, jeans with stretch, and a dirt road cleared of snow.
I ran, as I seem to do, without planning to, dressed in a bright yellow pleather jacket, straight from work, and with no goals of time or pace. I was only chasing, playing tag with that open feeling in my hips, the flight of the long stride. I was only make-believing I was a deer, or any other spring creature who feels life running through them, faster and faster, the melt washing away the ice, building more momentum the farther it goes.
I went out and back, mostly walking, sporadically bursting into a sprint (or a skip), and now and then stopping to listen to the quiet of the woods: here and there small birds, the soft knock of a woodpecker, the mild yawning creak of a tree.
When I was on my way back, nearly to the prettiest part, low over a watery place all dotted with cedars (surprisingly yellowed) and pussy willows (beginning to bud), I stopped and stared at the line of 3- or 4-inch circular disturbances in the damp dirt road: what on earth made that?
Then I laughed out loud– it was me, running, heels never meeting the ground, the space between each touch down farther apart than I would have believed: evidence, detritus, consequence of joy.