Jogging Writer: Springing Along Copper Creek

Copper Creek glimpsed from on high; I run down along the water’s edge.

Early evening, I move through sunshine and snowmelt, the world a cacophony of colors after weeks of white, white, white. It’s all a wonder as I run along Copper Creek and let the miles reel behind me. I love the pale browns of spring. The greens as fragile as silk threads. The bony arms of sycamores reaching for the sky.

Nearby, donkeys bray at a stubborn snowfield tucked back into the holler. Past the neighboring ranch where geese waddle and shit, waddle and shit. The river rises over the floodplain, knocking at the basement door of the empty Baptist church. I crest the hill and enjoy the ease of my stride, hard-earned after six months of training. I can run faster with less effort now, and though I’m not pushing it today, I admit it feels nice to glide along. The goats apparently agree, as they huddle at the fenceposts to meee-aaa-aaa-aaa me along. Shameless, I meee-aaa-aaa back at them. For a hundred yards we sing our chorus, not another soul around to interrupt. This is what we do.

I round the bend, up and away from the creek as the late-setting sun angles over the hills, infusing a flicker of green across dry grass blades. A glimpse of the season to come; a promise nearly fulfilled. During the final stretch, the neighborhood dog Molly joins me, collar tags jingling in time with the calls of the peepers. I push harder toward the finish, huffing through a barely visible cloud of bugs and swallow a mouthful of gnats–the undeniable truth of spring nearly choking me to tears.

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