Saturday, December 7, 2013

The wise old man

Special encounters happen more often than not when you run, but some encounters leave a beautiful stain on your soul, they ring words that will stay with you forever. An eternal Memory.

I was running with the playfullness of a little child over a carpet of glittering snow, smiling from ear to ear, laughing as I tumbled into a cushion of white fluff.
I felt like I was effortlessly floating over the ground... I felt how the beautiful crisp air was filling my lungs and cleansing my mind. They were compiled moments of complete bliss.

I had been out for over an hour without seeing a person. There was nothing but me and the uniterrupted wisdom of nature, until, as I crested the last little climb, I could see the silhouette of an elderly man. Still grinning, the distance between us decreased with every step. From a few meters away he broke the peaceful silence I had been drifting in:
"you really look like you love what you're doing", he said in a deep, Husky voice.
My step paused and I came to a standstill infront of the king of mountains, the Eiger. I took a Moment to catch my breath, glanced around me, and replied:
"I really do love what I'm doing!!"
He began to tell me that he once too was a runner, setting off and exploring trails for hours, eating berries along the way, drinking only from streams and fountains, enjoying that feeling that can't even be put into words, the feeling that could only be understood if felt yourself. I knew that Feeling he was talking about.

I was captivated by the truth of his words, the wisdom in his eyes and the strength with which he stood in life. He continued telling me that he had to give up running  20 years ago, (at which point I asked how old he is... I couldn't believe he is 90!), due to illness.
His dense beard was frozen with pearls of snow and I could see how his thoughts were wandering through his past. He told me he couldn't walk far anymore, but that freedom he felt when he was running  he could still feel now;
"things adapt, life adapts, if you let it".
I believe it was him telling me his freedom had adapted into enjoying the things he can do.

The sun was getting behind an army of mountains and it was getting colder rapidly. Although I could have stayed and listened to the old man for days, I needed to get home.
As we said our goodbyes he left me with words that will remain embeded in me forever;

"don't let anoyone take the freedom of what you love from you, because at some point life will."

That Moment will forever be a part of me, and so will that old man! I am grateful for unexpected Encounters!