Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Time Between

For all those who have trained for the 2014 Boston Marathon, it's called Taper Madness; the time after the last long run and Boston Marathon Monday. For those who have been part of support crew, like myself, it's called the time between. Fund raisers and water stops are done. There's no more hustle and bustle between now and Marathon Monday.

Ordinarily taper madness is a time that has used a lot of humor:

Just google Taper Madness and a whole host of articles come up in the search. I expressed the feelings of restlessness that prevail before the marathon in my blog from 4/18/2009: A Different Kind of Saturday.

But this year has a very different feel to Taper Madness. There is a restless energy throughout the city of Boston as we anticipate the anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombings. There is also an air of excitement as Boston gets ready to run again. I have my friends' bib numbers uploaded into the AT & T Athlete Alert. We are planning out where we will be and logistics for race day given the new security regulations for spectators as well as runners.

I know that I am not alone when I say I just want race day to arrive and be over. I want leaves back on the trees and I want to go to the beach.

But I also know how precious this time between is. I notice the subtle changes that are happening within and around me. Last week I took this photo of the first crocuses poking through at Spaulding Rehab:

and here they are a week later:

I am riding the waves of emotions from sadness and heartbreak to delight that winter is over to excitement that we will celebrate Marathon Monday as a family cheering on our running family and every emotion that is part of being human. And I think about what Tara Brach teaches about being able to experience the vastness of our emotions.

"When we know we're the ocean, we are free to relate to the waves with respect, compassion and love."

I was inspired to write the poem The Time Between when we arrived at the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center before hearing Tara Brach's Dharma Talk and book signing for True Refuge which I write about in my blog: Meeting Tara Brach and the Sacred Pause.

How are you spending the time between?

The Time Between from A Celebration of Life

Hidden from sidewalk’s view
I open unpainted gate
to enter the time between
a few brave grass blades poke through
is it Spring yet?

barely visible buds on tree
a chill in the air
contemplative walk
through garden’s gravel path

taking time
between each breath
a moment of death
an awakening to this precious gift
in every season

but what a gift
the time between.

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