It was summer. I don't remember what year, but Mom was still alive and cancer wasn't on anyone's mind. I was getting back into the swing of things - I was getting back to my run.
The "run" has never been an intense one. It is three miles from my kitchen door, to the baseball field and back. It's my route. It's what I do when I am ready to get back to me. I had a good routine going, but as it was getting warmer, I realized it was time for me to get up a little earlier to ensure my continued success.
Out the door, ear buds in, pick the pace. One - two - one - two - one - two... there it is. Breathing is steady and the early morning dew helped the air coat my lungs. I thought, "Getting up early was a great idea!" The music blared in my ears, but the neighborhood still slept.
As I turned toward home I felt like a well-oiled machine, I was at one with every muscle in my body, with the air around me, with the ground below me. It was a beautiful morning, a magnificent run, and I didn't want it to end. It is for this reason, I chose to take a slight detour off my regular route just over a quarter of a mile from my home. I had reached the block that borders the Greenbelt Natural Reserve. I decided on this morning, I should complete my run with dirt beneath my feet instead of asphalt. I wanted to feel the Earth.
I jogged in, at first watching my feet closely, fearing I would trip on a fallen branch or slip on a muddy patch. Then I stopped and realized I needn't worry if all my senses were attuned. I grabbed my ear buds and, as the silence of the world enveloped me, I looked up into his eyes.
He was five feet in front of me and entirely too comfortable with my presence. I was a gawky, bumbling two-legged human who had mistakenly believed she captured grace during this morning run until I was caught in his gaze, looking upon his majestic antlers and witnessing his regal stance. Without understanding my own movements, I bowed to the young buck and backed out of his realm. He watched me take a number of steps before continuing to graze.
As I emerged from the dense woods, the sun seemed much brighter than how I had left it and, with my ear bids out of my ears I could hear that the neighborhood had risen. The magic of my morning had already passed. I looked over my shoulder, squinting back into the woods to see if the buck was still there, but he was created to be unseen in such situations... The physical evidence of my beautiful moment was gone, all that was left was a euphoric feeling throughout all my limbs.
I stepped back onto the the asphalt, put my ear buds back in and picked a new pace. I floated home as the neighborhood continued to dream away in a reality that missed the natural beauty in their midst.
This post was written for the Red Writing Hood Prompt: This week's Red Writing Hood assignment is to write - fiction or non-fiction - about a time when you took a detour.