Blame it all on the Bobcat.
When he sauntered across the path ahead of me, I first imagined he was a dog off leash. But he did not move like a dog. Fluid. All grace. Too big to be a fox, and not nearly so dainty. I followed him along the creek bed for a piece. Then my foot found a loose stone. He glanced back at me for a breath, and was off.
My heart pounded. Only now did curiosity give way to awe. It was gift, this. A sacred moment. And I wanted to luxuriate in it. Ruminate. Drink deep.
I never could quite bring myself to pull out the ipod. I did not want to sully the moment with anything not of these woods.
So I ran.
I listened. I watched. I prayed.
My heart was glad and free. And the freedom began leaking into my brain. Thoughts. Ideas. Fast and furious. Creative solutions to problems that have plagued me for a while. Completely new ideas. From out of nowhere. I found myself wishing I had my Moleskine to write them all down. It was a wonder, really. Sometimes I felt like I was watching it happen from somewhere far away.
It’s not the first time.
I know this power of running to lose ideas. To “shake my tree”, as my friend Patsy likes to say. Perhaps it is the increased flow of oxygen. Perhaps it is the inspiring beauty all around. I believe, as much as anything, it is the ability to think without interruption. No one asking me for anything. No cell phone or computer. No laundry or dishes. No distraction.
Thank you, my beautiful, furry friend, for compelling me to run in quiet. For creating a space for my brain to run free while my body did the same. I very much hope we meet again.
How about you? What is a setting that frees your brain to play?
P.S. My feline encounter happened at Edwin Warner Park in Nashville. I asked the ranger about it after my run. She said she has seen them there before, but that sightings are extremely rare. There are people who have worked there for 30 years who have never seen one. She said I was very lucky. I knew that. 🙂