2017-05-27 - Thank You, Dr Stephanie

~23.7 miles @ ~14.8 min/mi

"Where is this going?" asks Dr Stephanie, as I catch my breath during a monologue in preparation for a poetic recitation.

"Well," I reply, "I'm trying to explain the meaning of my life, in answer to your earlier question. A poem that I memorized 45 years ago may help."

"Ah," says Stephanie, "but I just meant: Where is this ROAD going?"

"Oh!" I blush, and we chuckle together.

Barry, Gayatri, and Rebecca trot down Rock Creek Trail. Comic banter soon ensues as we meet and ramble back to KenGar where they started. A double-dog-dare mandates hill repeats on a side path. Then the others, who set out earlier, head for home. Stephanie text-messages and I stroll south to meet her. Frank trail talk follows, as we share joys and woes, hopes and regrets, personal progress and chronic shortfalls. It's so wonderful to have a trusted friend to think aloud with! And the quiet gaps between sentences are as important.

"Smell these roses!" We pause during each climb of Old Spring Road and commit minor trespass to appreciate lovely gardens up-close. A stone rabbit statue invites front-yard selfies. On the third loop we divert into the Mormon Temple grounds to smile at a wedding party, admire the architecture, and cast envious eyes on massive ferns.

Iced coffee from the Old Town Market in Kensington fuels the final 7 miles of today's trek. Zen koans are not-solved as traffic whizzes past. Tiny paths meander eventually back to terra cognita. Stephanie kindly gives me a ride home. We practice saying "Thank you!" instead of "I'm sorry!", questioning what's really important, listening better, and laughing more. How to resolve the tension between taking care of others and properly cherishing self? True balance is so hard to achieve; loving advice and good examples from friends can help.

(trackfile; cf. What Is My Life (1999-04-30), ...) - ^z - 2017-06-20