In my home town of Old Town, Maine (original name, no?) is my favorite running course-16 miles of trails and sidewalks going through two towns. When I arrive at the wooded trail, I realize that it is one of those rare magical places…at least for me. When I hit the cool, pine scented air of the forest it is clear that the power of time is weaker. Two decades flee and vanish into the distance (no doubt skittering away to wait for me upon my return). My speed increases and the old injuries are as if they never were-I am back to where some part of me has always remained…on an eternal run in the woods.
My old foes, the deer flies, await me in the cross country trails of the University of Maine. They are eager to bite, but as ever, they can only try to catch me. The deer, perhaps happy that the flies have a new friend, watch me as I run.
The course takes me back into the neighborhood where I grew up. My old house is worn and poorly maintained. It is sad to see it so uncared for. I turn away and run back onto the road, thinking of when the paint was bright and the windows unbroken. The poet is proven right.
Eventually the run ends. I can feel the years catching up with me when I stop, but I still feel good. The decades are snickering, but they do not know what I know-the trail is always there and they have no power to match it.