A stream of houses flying by. As if on air with spirits soaring. Across the heavens of an open sky. On streets I breathe a runner’s high. Where the rhythm of my heart, and the rhythm of my feet, Create the beat of the heart of the street. Where in my mind I find my transcending wings. Long lost and wounded by the world around me. And yet through blood, sweat, and tears they spread. Imagination carries a sweet sensation on these wings. Where I feel like moving faster than cars in the next lane. And on these streets I run for peace. To find a sense of myself I had lost for years and years. And as I run, I gaze towards a boundless sky. Which seems to open up towards a divinity unmatched by any. And on these wings of imagination, I run to feel even closer to a world of only God’s wonder.
The fourth running of the Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon set Sept. 14 will honor the 50th anniversary of Billy Mills’ victory in the 10,000 Meter Run at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
Mills remains the only American ever to win the Gold Medal in this distance running event.
In the half century since his victory, Mills has raised over $100 million to benefit Native American children through his foundation Running Strong for American Indian Youth.
Running Strong provides in-kind support for the Santa Fe nonprofit Global Running Culture’s programs to improve the lives of youth through the powers of sport and education.
Global Running Culture focuses its programs in three communities where running continues to be a vital part of the local culture: Matunget, Kenya, Copper Canyon, Mexico and Northern New Mexico. The volunteer-run nonprofit founded the Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon in 2011 as its primary fundraiser and as a destination event, which last year attracted runners from 30 states and seven countries to Santa Fe.
“I am proud to be associated with an organization that shares my commitment to helping the next generation have the opportunity to succeed,” Mills said in a press release. “I have participated in the Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon and encourage runners to experience the unique cultural features and beautiful downhill course.”
Winners will receive autographed copies of Patricia Mills’ painting, Wings of an Eagle. Her works are displayed in the World Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.
Global Running Culture will donate a portion of race proceeds to Running Strong in Mills’ honor.
When you smile, the air grows warm and soft,
the earth is watered with gentle mists,
seeds sprout and spread leaves above the dark, damp soil,
earthworms pierce the crust and frolic across the surface
to the delight of fat, happily hunting robins,
lilies of the valley unfurl beside purple, grape-scented irises,
fat pink and maroon peonies, and gay California poppies,
damask roses hurl their rich fragrance to the wind,
the crazy-with-sheer-joy song of the Northern mockingbird
echoes above other chirps and sweet winged notes,
gardeners join the worms in the warm, rich dirt,
children gallop across yards and grab handfuls of dandelions
to present to mothers who will set them in glasses of water
in kitchen windows or on dining room tables, weeds
glorious after the dark of winter with the color of the sun
that grows and warms and heals in your smile.
From the book Hearts Migration, by Linda Rodriquez
Not merely because Henry James said there were but four rules of life— be kind be kind be kind be kind— but because it’s good for the soul, and, what’s more, for others; it may be that kindness is our best audition for a worthier world, and, despite the vagueness and uncertainty of its recompense, a bird may yet wander into a bush before our very houses, gratitude may not manifest itself in deeds entirely equal to our own, still there’s weather arriving from every direction, the feasts of famine and feasts of plenty may yet prove to be one, so why not allow the little sacrificial squinches and squigulas to prevail? Why not inundate the particular world with minute particulars? Dust’s certainly all our fate, so why not make it the happiest possible dust, a detritus of blessedness? Surely the hedgehog, furling and unfurling into its spiked little ball, knows something that, with gentle touch and unthreatening tone, can inure to our benefit, surely the wicked witches of our childhood have died and, from where they are buried, a great kindness has eclipsed their misdeeds. Yes, of course, in the end so much comes down to privilege and its various penumbras, but too much of our unruly animus has already been wasted on reprisals, too much of the unblessed air is filled with smoke from undignified fires. Oh friends, take whatever kindness you can find and be profligate in its expenditure: It will not drain your limited resources, I assure you, it will not leave you vulnerable and unfurled, with only your sweet little claws to defend yourselves, and your wet little noses, and your eyes to the ground, and your little feet.