I ran up island hills through a tunnel carved for cars in Douglas firs and lodgepole pine, through the smell of leaf mold and the exhalations of small animals breathing. I passed a four-point buck mangy with ticks, a raccoon with a high rear end. It was late, and the sunlight slanting through branches was full of pollen, spores, and dust. I ran through shadow and buttery yellow triangles. Down hill. Up hill. Each footfall charged me as if by battery. There was no gimped heart knocking protest from inside its bone jail, no vascular disease squeezing the oxygen gone, no challenging hip, no broken sesamoid bone, and I realized: I can do this. I was free, a ground creature, running.
I was free, a ground creature, running.