define yourself

I like to run on trails. One of my favorites is the Davidson College Cross country course. The majority of the run is a fairly well manicured path that covers at least three feet in breadth.

There are a couple of parts though, where the path turns into double tracks…two very thin lines of dirt that, over time, have become well worn and deeply embedded in the ground.

The invitation is obvious.

“Run here or there.”

The grass between the obvious paths is tall and unwieldy…green and lush.

There are times on my run I “do” the easy…pick one of the two lines and follow the path already chosen.

But there are other times I choose the space in between. This requires more of me than the worn two tracks. I have to slow down, watch my footing, be intentional with each step. I am forced to be present…who knows what unseen nooks and crannies rest beneath the tall and rebellious grass.

As I’ve wandered more deeply into my own life, I realize that so much of it has been deeply rooted in the “or’s”…”or’s” set up by the people ahead of me.

This OR that…here OR there…with us OR against us.

Pro life or pro choice…Republican or Democrat…Christian or Muslim or Jewish…pro gun or pro gun control…pro blue or pro black.

I like to wonder how things might change if we removed the OR’s and explored the space in between.

This morning as I stood in line at Caribou and ordered tea…a first for me,  DJ asked “would you like your tea ‘still or sparkling?'”

I think today I will be both and then more and see what that feels like. Today I will define myself with words that I choose.

“Starkling.”  Ah yes. That should do quite nicely.