Sometimes the silence here is almost deafening. It wakes me in the night; it reverberates inside my heart, shaking loose its secrets. The silence is a hum that bounces off my soul and allows me to better hear simple truths. My simple truths.
There is never a time when I feel the fullness of solitude as when we run at night. Sometimes the only thing the U.P. has to offer is solitude and stillness.
As the dogs and I trekked through the woods last night, I stopped to water them and snapped this picture. Right after, I walked back down the line of dogs, 10 of them, all wagging and barking to go. I shut the engine of my four wheeler off and tried to imagine we were on snow and the team was hooked to my sled.
Ruffian, my intense white leader, barked and called everyone to attention.
"Ready?" I asked, and Ruffian barked again in response.
"I was born ready!" she seemed to say.
The wind blew through the white pines and the dogs looked like dancing horses - all loping in perfect harmony. As we dipped down on the trail, the air seemed to cool and the dogs picked up their already swift pace, moving like a well-oiled machine. We reached 15 miles per hour on the cold stretch, winding in between the birch and spruce and aspen.
|ghosts in the woods|
Some don't like running at night, but I do. The darkness seems to magnify the solitude. I never feel afraid or alone when I'm out with a team in the night. Solitude is a place I visit often.
Tonight, I walked out of the tiny cabin under the stars. The moon was a hazy sliver in the sky. I looked up and thanked God for this opportunity - for helping me be true to myself. I am no longer living a lie.
Some may not like the words I have to say or the truths I have to speak, but I have spoken the hardest truths in the last six months, and I will always honor myself and those truths now.