the lost man chronicles
the daily chronicle

knowing contentment in the enchanted forest

At 6 PM, on a drizzling Saturday evening, I went for a run in the park a block away from home.

The Sun was feeling drowsy and just beginning to close Her eyes. I ran without a plan as to where and for how long, allowing my strides to take me, guided by their whim, as I traversed the park for a few miles.

For most of the trek, it felt as if I was running across long sheets of glass, as the puddle sheen that glossed the black tar paths reflected the silhouette of the trees above. The view of the surrounding forest was mesmerizing, hundreds of barren stalks and branches, hungry hands reaching to the sky, looming, waiting to swoop all those who believed in the wicked legends of enchanted forests. Although I was the least bit wary, this rural traverse was quite enchanting nonetheless.

What made it more magical was that I was utterly alone. Only sound of the sibilant patter of my breathing and the pittering rhythm of my feet softly broke the exquisite silence. At certain elevated points I could look for half-a-mile across and see absolutely no oneónot a single soul. I was overwhelmed by this privileged moment of solitude.

I might have entertained a little more trepidation, like many of those who cautiously keep out of the park at night, but I was not at all afraid. for I had read at the end of last summer, that all but one crime had been committed here in the last twenty years. Statistically speaking I was safer than safe.

The temperature that night was perfect. I wore a cotton jogging suit with a windbreaker over it, a gortex cap and my mismatched cotton garden gloves. I was incredibly invigorated by the humid-cool of 45 degrees and the accommodating heat of my body temperature.

Toward the middle of my jaunt I noticed that as I looked East the sky had the slight glow of a purple haze. Upon turning West, the Her Majesty offered misty swaths of barely-blue grey.

At the north bend of the park and cruising around the last quarter of my run, the Sun had all but fallen into a deep slumber, and now only the dull glow of yellow suburban streetlights reflected like a tattered blanket across the sky.

A singular pair of bright globes suddenly cut through the fog, looking like the headlights of an airborne automobile. It was not until they were above at about 75 degrees that the projecting phallus made of the sleek and slender body and the accompanying pair of lights dangling from its wings, that it became apparent that it was indeed an airplane.

At the end of my venture I was running at an energized clip and was ready to do it all over again, but obligation and prudence pulled me back in. Besides, it had been a bon adventure and it was best not to risk spoiling it with an inadvertent slip and a twisted ankle.

He who knows he has enough is rich.

Too much store is sure to end in immense loss.
Know contentment, and you will suffer no disgrace;
Know when to stop, and you will meet with no danger.
You can then endure.
~ Tao Te Ching


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