Share this with your badass friends:

Gravel

Written By George Callahan

Aug 12, 2019

Rugged shoes stand before a yellow gate; it reads: Those who know the song.

“What song?” I wonder.

I step from the parking lot and pass the yellow gate onto the crushed limestone of a logging trail.

The trail is worn and rutted and damp, and it cascades down into some valley.

“What song?”

Is it the song of gravel underfoot? Any who steps here knows this song. The crunch of a step and shift of the ground. It wanders through the forest and mingles with the stream and rustling trees and the sound of creatures alive, high above on branches. It paces my breath and the easy swing of my arms.

Or is it the song of mineral-perfumed pine-air? The damp rocks and dirt, now clinging to rubber soles, rise and mix with the green needles of the loblollies. It’s moss and dirt and pine and crushed rock and with each deep, toiled breath, I taste them. I taste them and experience them and I wonder if this perfume will cling to my damp shirt and hair.

It might be the song of contrast. The gravel running out of sight along the grassy edge, out of reach of the trees. Gray and brown rock and black dirt running along soft greens and wild berries. The civilized and the free; the road of man and the freedom of forest; the alien rock, crushed and spread thin, and the native wood, ferns, and flowers.

I will journey straight into your heart and know you, the road of man says to the forest. I will spread this gravel and it will carry laborers and adventurers into your valley.

The forest replies: I will raise mountains and run streams and fall heavy pines. Your laborers and adventurers will journey with ease, at first, and then I will crush their expeditions, the taming of my pines and streams and peaks by man. You will wind and climb and descend only as I allow, road of man. This is my song: ‘Come here to know me; come here to experience all that I am. Still, road of man, know that you cannot know me, truly. Your alien crushed rock cannot reach my heart and you will wander these pines in search of it.’ This is my song: ‘Wander and smell and taste and feel and see and know not, road of man.’ 

I take a long and deep breath. I see the contrast and taste the limestone and pine in the air and hear the crunch and shift of gravel underfoot. I will wander this forest today; I will summit mountains and descend valleys and search for the heart of the forest.

I know the song, and so I always wander. Up the road of man and then off it, toward roots and vines and mud on dirt trails. Up and down and way up and then down steeply, away from the road of man.

Those who know the song.

Like this post? Check out some other Creative posts…

Creation Trail [reading time: 2 minutes]

Barbed Wire [reading time: 23 minutes]

Grounded by Home Trails [reading time: 4 minutes]

Synthetic Trance [reading time: 10 minutes]

Cape Cod 50k: A High Five and a Seashell [reading time: 4 minutes]

FREE Comfort Is A Lie Sticker!

No Credit Card Required!!

Ultra Marathon Blog | Free Sticker
Personal Information
Address


Comfort Is A Lie

Comfort Is A Lie

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Written By George CallahanFREE "Comfort Is A Lie" Sticker! No Credit Card Required!!The man looks around at his life. Not much to worry about. Not a lot of sweat. No real adversity. "Perfect," he thinks. "I'm comfortable." Isn't life supposed to...

My Dirty Hat

My Dirty Hat

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Written By George Callahan“I thought about buying a new hat, a fresh and clean one, but it wouldn’t be the same. It’s my hat. It knows my struggles on the trail and my successes. I’ve trained and raced with it. It’s tasted sweat and dirt and lots of stream water on...

So Long, And Thanks For The Suffering

So Long, And Thanks For The Suffering

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Written By Michael MoranI chose to do this. Nobody forced me to run 50 miles. Pouring sweat into a paper cup of Gatorade three quarters of the way through the race, I felt like I was about to cave inward. The weight of the last few months, the heat, my wet and muddy...

Bleed For It

Bleed For It

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Written By George Callahan It’s easy to sit on the side and watch it all go by. I’ve done it. You’ve done it. People around you and I do it every single day. There it goes, right now, while you read this. What is it? What is all this going by? Opportunity. Not...

Motivation Is Not Real: Run Without It

Motivation Is Not Real: Run Without It

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Written By George CallahanFREE Be Your Own Culture Sticker! No Credit Card Required!!To an outsider, the ultra marathon community appears to lean on motivation. To the outside world, motivation drives an ultra marathon runner to explore...

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

FREE Comfort Is A Lie Sticker!

No Credit Card Required!!

Personal Information
Address


Comfort Is A Lie

Comfort Is A Lie

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Written By George CallahanFREE "Comfort Is A Lie" Sticker! No Credit Card Required!!The man looks around at his life. Not much to worry about. Not a lot of sweat. No real adversity. "Perfect," he thinks. "I'm comfortable." Isn't life supposed to...

My Dirty Hat

My Dirty Hat

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Written By George Callahan“I thought about buying a new hat, a fresh and clean one, but it wouldn’t be the same. It’s my hat. It knows my struggles on the trail and my successes. I’ve trained and raced with it. It’s tasted sweat and dirt and lots of stream water on...

So Long, And Thanks For The Suffering

So Long, And Thanks For The Suffering

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Written By Michael MoranI chose to do this. Nobody forced me to run 50 miles. Pouring sweat into a paper cup of Gatorade three quarters of the way through the race, I felt like I was about to cave inward. The weight of the last few months, the heat, my wet and muddy...

Bleed For It

Bleed For It

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Written By George Callahan It’s easy to sit on the side and watch it all go by. I’ve done it. You’ve done it. People around you and I do it every single day. There it goes, right now, while you read this. What is it? What is all this going by? Opportunity. Not...

Motivation Is Not Real: Run Without It

Motivation Is Not Real: Run Without It

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Written By George CallahanFREE Be Your Own Culture Sticker! No Credit Card Required!!To an outsider, the ultra marathon community appears to lean on motivation. To the outside world, motivation drives an ultra marathon runner to explore...

%d bloggers like this: