Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Run, Singer, Run!
In the cold early dawn, a midsize animal streaks with electrical speed across my backyard, her legs moving above the ground like a race horse. It takes her only seconds. She stops at the fence, stock still, and looks to see another wild animal scurry away into the bushes in a neighbor’s yard. Her head is held high, her tail aloft, and her body still as stone. I whistle sharply and she turns her head toward me for a second, then tucks her head into her body and gallops toward the deck before making a sharp detour toward the gate. She sniffs the snow and looks past the chain link fence, and I call her once again.
It is cold out! Singer makes her early morning ritual of streaking across the yard, checking to see what wild animal has dared to enter her domain, and she is so unaware of how magnificent she is to see which makes it all the more enticing. She is faster than God's commands. Our yard can’t be more than 70 yards wide and maybe 50 yards deep, yet she makes the most of it by racing around to certain check points, her form so perfect and automatic, it is utterly amazing. For a few seconds, I run with her in my mind and forget the cold. Then I remind her to “go potty!” She gives me a mindful glance, but then returns to her real duty: checking the yard for animal intruders. Her body can engage in high gear in no time at all and she does it all within the perimeters of this small space. It is amazing and kind of sad at the same time, as I yet again wish we had more space for her to run in. Once you see her run, you know she should not be confined. She needs to run, she needs to burn oxygen at a high level, her muscles fluidly working at a moment’s notice providing the speed in which she seems to fly through the air, her ears flapping behind her and her tail waving like a banner through the frigid air. Then it is over. I actually want her to “do it again!” like a kid, but understand that we don’t have much time, it is cold, she is there to do her business, and I have to go in and get ready for work. She also knows this. She will, after the third or fourth reminder, trot over to one or two different places in the yard, sniff quickly for a spot and then squat and do her business. I call out praises and notice the rose colored horizon as the sun comes up. I always make a connection with Singer, my runner, my magnificent goddess of running, my gazelle, and yes, maybe I’m amazed. I hope I feel this way every morning.