The Summer I Stopped Running

September 28, 2010
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I always enjoyed running. I always ran the same rout, and it was never boring to me. I'd run up my street, around the corner, down Mulberry, around the culdesac, up Chestnut Hill, and back home. And I'd do this a few times.

There was a pond at the bottom of Chestnut Hill teeming with wildlife. I sat in the early mornings and heard the crickets. I sat midday and heard the bullfrogs. I sat at night and heard the cicadas. I could look up at the sky, peppered with stars, and map out the constellations in my mind. Lightening bugs drifted through the thick, humid air. Bats flew by, reminding me of the first time I ever saw a bat and cried because I was scared. But now I was anything but scared.

I was fascinated . It was all so enchanting. most summer nights, I'd go to the pond, leaving my my home around a half hour before sunset, running shoes, gym shorts, and a hooded sweatshirt, containing reflective gear, adorning my figure. I always made sure my exposed skin had been sprayed with a bug repellent and that I had a good flashlight with working batteries.

I remember going down to the pond one night. Something seemed slightly off about it. I couldn't place it, so I kept admiring the beauty, holding my knees to my chest as my eyes closed and I breathed in the fresh air. But something in the back of my mind continued to distress, knowing something wasn't right about the situation. I couldn't put my finger on it, though. I left early that nigh, arriving home an hour and a half earlier than I normally would have.

They started construction near the pond the following week. I didn't go to the pond after that night.In the weeks and months that followed, the pond turned ugly and all traces of wildlife were gone. No more crickets. No more bullfrogs. No more cicadas. No more lightening bugs. No more star peppered sky. No bats.

That's the summer I stopped running. I couldn't run my the pond anymore. It wasn't even a pond! It was a shame. It was a waste. It ruined my life. I can barely remember the magic of that pond anymore. I don't remember the stars or lightening bugs. Cicadas or crickets. Bullfrogs or bats. I can't run by there anymore, so I don't run at all.

I wish I could have prevented the industrialization of that area. I wish I could have saved the pond. But I didn't.

That was the summer I stopped running.

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mskullgirl said...
Oct. 8, 2010 at 4:53 pm
I like this! I like how you painted a picture with your words. Keep it up
alisaysroar replied...
Jul. 13, 2011 at 10:57 pm
Man, this is so late but thank you very much! Comments always mean so much to me and I really appreciate it!
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