As my heartbeat quickened I felt a smile creep onto my lips before taking full control of my spirit. My being formed with the earth not as an act of ownership, but of shared love. Each touch brief and intimately respectful, leaving but the lightest trace of my intent in the soft sand; a message to Mother Nature of the rawest appreciation for her purity.
She answered in the form of a low flying Harrier Hawk, confident, graceful, and absolutely beautiful in his element. I imagined we made eye contact, and I promised him with a skip to leave everything as I found it in his desert, sans footprints.
The connection brought a happiness to my core that I thought might make me explode. Driving my arms, breathing the sweet arid air, I returned to the Gunga Din at an all out sprint. I could feel my temples throbbing as the flow of life in my body gained speed. My quads and lungs were steadily burning as the familiar stack of rocks came back into view. I dug in, driving deeper into the sand until I could see our campsite, the only unnatural spot in sight, and yet
more natural than I can find words to explain. I let my legs continue to turn over without effort, and slowed naturally to a light jog as I approached.
John was there, waiting for me just as I never doubted he would. I returned to his arms naturally, radiant with the knowledge that I was combining my absolute two favorite passions in that moment. Running and my love. I sighed happily, and allowed my pulse to return to a resting rate as I enjoyed a sweaty, salty kiss.
The feeling I captured in that moment will remain all the reassurance I’ll ever need to know I’m doing the right things.