Today’s trail run was a wailing day.
The first time I ever experienced wailing was in the arms of my good friend Candace, at the funeral for my other friend Jennifer’s 5 year old daughter Elleya. Candace held me in her arms and what came out of my mouth was a sound that reached down through my chest and deeper even into my soul as if bridging the gap between dimensions, unearthly, deep, uncontrollable, and primal.
My body shook with the sound and the depth of it while Candace supported me.
Since then, as I’ve been running the trails of Mt. Kessler, Lake Fayetteville, Wilson Park, Skull Creek, and Hobbs State Park to name a few. Most of the time I just run and it’s exhilarating. But some days are wailing days. A few examples of times throughout the years that I have wailed while running?
- When I was exhausted working full time at the spa, going to nursing school full time, working part time at a hospital, and taking care of my four children at home–I ran on Mt. Kessler and wailed.
- While grieving through my divorce.
- When my teenage children were dealing with struggles.
- Grieving for my inability to be an aunt to my niece and nephews.
Today my children are fighting hard to find their identity, pushing hard to get away from me. I’ve lived with teenagers for 10 years. They’re great kids. But sometimes they can be downright venomous and they don’t care what the emotional weapon, they wield it ruthlessly. I spent Thanksgiving Day this year at work while my family celebrated. Today is Christmas Eve. I’ll be spending it alone as well because the kids don’t want to be here. They want to be with other folks. It’s okay. It’s just fucking painful.
I’ve been having technical difficulties with my bicycle and being able to get out and ride. 4 flat tires, and today the derailleur bit the dust. My oldest son rescued me, but I didn’t get to get my ride in. So I drove to Kessler to run instead. I love running. Some of my best inspiration and clarity come from running. And yes, today was a wailing day, for all of the pain that encompasses raising 4 teenage sons alone during the holidays.
I’m grateful for my running practice, and my meditation practice, and my ability to release my pain with wailing runs, connecting me to that other dimension, cleansing my body of that pain, making space so that I can keep going.