Running in Nature and the Nature of Being...
- Next time youâre in Sydney, be sure to enjoy the âCoogee â" Bondiâ run.
Sydneyâs a big city, by any standards. Busy, with lots of people and
concrete and buildings and traffic. And more traffic. And more people,
and buildings and concrete and traffic...
...and breathtaking natural beauty.
Sydney Harbour is one of Natureâs most perfect designs, from a
practical and aesthetic perspective. Famous National Parks enclose
Sydneyâs upper and lower fringes â" the Royal National Park to the
south was Australiaâs first (and the second in the world), established
in 1879, while Kuringai Chase National Park to the north offers a
wealth of forest and coastal terrain.
Sydneyâs coastline is comprised of picture-postcard surf beaches
interspersed with rocky escarpments and headlands. Connecting several
of these beaches, from Bondi in the north to Coogee in the south, is a
walking and running track of about 6 kilometres.
The Coogee â" Bondi, or Bondi â" Coogee, or Googee â" Bondi â" Coogee run,
with or without breakfast, is my favourite way to start a Sydney day.
It offers the grandeur of the worldâs largest ocean, swathes of an
immense sky, crashing waves on the gnarled edge of an ancient
continent, horizon-loads of ocean-fresh air, bright blooming flowers,
happy-scampering puppies, a testing hilly workout and the option of a
good drenching swim from a gleaming sandy beach.
I find running in Nature one of life's most refreshing and uplifting
pursuits. For me it is perhaps the most direct way to connect with
Nature, as one seems not merely to be observing, but participating in
Nature's beauty, purity, intricacy, power and majesty. While running,
one's breath seemingly connects one directly with a deeper Force
flowing in and through the wind, waves, rocks, soil and plants and
infusing our very cells, nerves, thoughts and will with a higher
memory and purpose.
One can imagine and feel Nature herself breathing and singing in and
through one's breath; an ongoing inhalation, exhalation and
exclamation of the Supreme. We are indeed part of all this, and all
this of us: it in us and we of it.
While running, we humans can appreciate Nature from the inside as
participant, and from the outside as observer. A runner is at once a
witness, a traveller and a creator. For while we are one within
Nature, and thrilled to be so, our soul has also the wings upon which
to rise above and beyond her. Running strengthens both our oneness
with Nature - our immanence - and our will to rise beyond - our
transcendence... the triumph of the soul in body, and glorification of
the body in soul.
Come on... let's RUN!