First published on July 9, 2014:
I walk almost every day. It’s a habit, a need even, a bi-product of many decades of daily runs. Linear bipedal locomotion is my time for thinking. Deep thinking. For whatever reason, my focus can be so intense that it’s hard to pull out of it. One of my sons long ago took note and conceived a diagnosis for my condition: EAD. Excessive Attention Disorder.
There is no better place to let my EAD go full-blown than on a track. No distractions. No cars. No routes to be mindful of.
This summer they are bringing the local 1950’s cinder track into the twenty-first century. When it’s done, I won’t be surprised if while I’m in full-blown EAD, the springy all-weather surface converts my walking to running. Wearing running tights instead of jeans did that to me one spring day. Lost in thought, I ran a half mile before I realized I was running for the first time in months.
The track has so far changed from cinder to dirt, to mud, back to dirt, to loose gravel, and recently to packed gravel. It took me till the packed gravel stage to surface from a day’s deep thinking and notice…
Long, long roots forging vertical lines in the dirt. Two to three feet deep. A perfect cross section. The anatomy of grass.
Which caused me to do some deep thinking about roots. They sure are long. Much longer than I realized. No wonder lawns recover after drought, scorching heat, or subzero temps.
And they sure are vertical. Aren’t they ever tempted to change it up a bit and wander horizontally or diagonally? If my thinking habits were roots, they’d be meandering and getting tangled quite a lot. My roots may even go skyward — any good ideas up there? Any solutions over yonder?
Grass roots are so … singularly focused. Down. Deep. Where the water is. No wonder roots are used so often as metaphors in the Bible.
I believe there’s something universal in the allegory of the roots. Something for all of us, regardless of our backgrounds or beliefs. Take away the faith and cultural lenses I’m looking through, and you take away yours. When it comes to basics, I wouldn’t be surprised to see our roots run parallel.
Looking for water. Striving for stability, sustainability. Needing truths. Preferring love. Requiring hope.