Sunday, April 13, 2008

Longing for the Good Old Days

Do you ever find yourself thinking, "It sure was great back then." Toward the end of my 6.5 mile run this afternoon I found myself remembering that just a few months ago 6.5 miles seemed like nothing. Today, it seemed like more than nothing. Running one of my favorite routes along the Mississippi River, I could recall my runs on that same route last summer--when the road seemed to glide past underfoot and a cooling breeze was always at my back (or maybe I just put a rose-colored gloss on those runs). It may well be that my best running days are behind me. I am almost 48 and my knees have led a difficult and painful adult existence. But even if my best running days are past, that doesn't mean that my future running days are empty. I can still enjoy them, if I will so choose.

Sometimes I think back fondly to the years during and immediately following college as spiritual "best days." Those were times of deep spiritual passion and both a desire to change the world and a belief that I could actually do so--days before I had experienced many of the bumps and bruises of an adult existence. Many times I have tried to recreate the environment of those days in hopes of recapturing some of that earlier spiritual passion. But I have found that one truly cannot turn back the clock.

I don't know if my best days spiritually are behind me. I hope not. But even if they are, the future days can still have spiritual value and meaning. Perhaps if I can simply live each day with the thought that today may be my best day, then it will surprise me. Like those summer runs along the Mississippi when time stood still and the road flew by.