Friday, January 7, 2011

Peaks and Pastures

I have been doing lots of running and exploring around the land of red roads, rock wall ruins, ancient volcanoes, and waterfalls of clouds spilling from the sky. The grass in the pastures was glowing green as a collective bouquet but each individual blade contained the whole vibrant spectrum of the color.

I think of running as an expression and there are many ways to draw new lines and do old things in new ways. The vast and wide open landscape felt like a giant canvas for me to paint with my strides as I ran. Off of Mana Rd. many hills (Pu’u) dot the landscape rising up to various elevations.

There are no roads or trails to or up them so I decided to go truly cross country and run up various peaks in the area. It was just a matter of choosing a side to run up and a line to run down. I felt like a kid running through huge grassy fields full of wild flowers to the base of the hills. It sure was steeper than it looked from afar. I guess being juxtaposed against Mauna Kea will make anything look small from afar. I was happy because there are not many runable sustained climbs around that are off road. Once I made it to the top I saw the USGS marker that said Pu’u IO. I later learned that it stands at 3,547ft. I was confronted with the kind of view that I dream about and could just lay in the grass and dissolve into it. Echoes of Thomas Merton were ringing: “And a voice in me seemed to be crying “Look! Look!” For these are the discoveries, and it is for this that I am high on the mast of my ship...”

As I looked out the fog converging from separate directions, the summits of Mauna Kea, Hualalai, and the great Pacific; I thought how this is what gives shape and meaning to my life. Smaller hills were all around so I flew down the steep backside of Pu’u IO into and across a pasture and up up up and back down again. I made a triangle from the point where I went off road running up three of the fairly steep hills. The land is wide open clear to the summit of Mauna Kea so the exploring possibilities are endless! This was the first time in a while that I have felt better at the end of a long run compared to when I started.

This is what I felt like after 4.5 hours:

Trails, waves, whatever the medium, sometimes looking back it feels like part dream and part reality. What’s left over is a memory that shines bright and a lingering feeling of inspiration.

Continues to inspire:

Derek Hynd from aramis17 on Vimeo.


mayo purnell said...

Hey Billy, love the blog. The Big Island is the most naturally beautiful place I've ever been. Curious as to what kind of work you're doing? Keep up the good vibes,
mayo purnell
(a runner from Dallas)

Billy Barnett said...

Thanks Mayo!! I was an instructor at a wilderness therapy program for 2 years. Now I am back in school getting my teaching license in special education. You are right, the Big Island is amazing! I feel very fortunate to live here.

mayo purnell said...

Cool, Billy. I read the book, of course. Do you still keep up with those guys like Caballo, etc? And, hate to hit a sore spot, but whatever happened to you and Jenn Shelton? You guys were pretty young, obviously, and life does change a lot in your 20s. Anyway, glad you're still romping!

Anonymous said...

I love this post.