on the run

September 30, 2014

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Last weekend I « retreated » with a large number of other women from near, and not so near, where I live. It filled my woman-needy soul in a way I didn’t anticipate [though I had gone into the weekend with a great deal of excitement; just didn’t know why I was so ready for it]. It was a short 2 days packed with activity and intensity. During our free time one afternoon, a friend and I went for a run. As we headed up a hill, we saw a group of uniformed youngsters walking towards us, apparently just getting out of school. I am quite accustomed to being stared at: a « waiguoren, » no matter where in the world I am at any given time. And at first I had a bit of a sinking feeling, expecting them to begin laughing and running alongside us as most children do. My friend, however, in the exact same position as I am, had a very different reaction. She smiled, waved, and began cheering them on. It was a contagious reaction, and I joined her. After passing them, I joked that we had just spurred on the next Olympic racing team of this country. It was a powerful lesson for me in openness: a reminder that my agenda of what my « job » is, and of what sort of outward aura I should have, is not necessarily the best. Sometimes you have to let go of those expectations and just be open to the surprises that may be just around the bend. These photos are of the countryside we passed as we ran—so fast that it was all a blur. Ok, so maybe I was just a poor photographer that day :-)

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