By Luke Alexander

GreenWay

What would the world be like if it didn’t have interstates? How would you get from point A to point B? Would you run?

Would you tour the back trails? Would you let your mind run wild and free? How could you connect with the world around you? Would you imagine? Would you create your own story? Would you listen to the sounds of nature?

I wish I could be free from time. I wish I could separate myself from this inefficient life. I wish I could run away from this city that offers many selfish lies. The only way out of this empty darkness is to run.

Running allows my mind to explore the outside world. Running is a dream that I would love to grasp. The trail I run offers the freedom that many of us long for.

I am running, not alone, but with the world around me. I travel with no extra weight holding me down. I am light as a feather. My vision is cleared from the distractions that once blocked my view. The trees and the deer become intensified with color as I speed by. My ears open up, listening to the birds singing songs overhead. The waters from the sky cool me off during my trip. The path is my highway of freedom as I leave troubles behind.

The path I run on has done no harm to me. It is a security blanket that blocks my unwanted fears. It holds me tight while I drift around the sharp corners. The soil is my seat belt as I run away from my past. The trail heals my sickness. The trail rebuilds my future. Without the soft touch of dirt, my soul would be meaningless. I find peace as I run away from the only thing I have ever known. I am filled with joy as I wander away from my town.

I escape light pollution. Mysterious white dots illuminate the night sky. I can see the white monster’s reflection bouncing from the glossy waves. A patch of light from a tiny firefly brightens my way. A slight breeze from the west sends shivers down my spine. The owl greets me with a warm call as I jog through the gates of the wilderness. Running guides me to a whole new world that once was meaningless.

Although my run has been a great pleasure, my time winds down on the spotless trail. I offer my goodbyes as I cross the finish line, but nature rescues me with a delightful hug. I raise my hands up as I express gratitude to all of the lively creatures. With no care in the world, I kneel down beside the pavement and I kiss it.

I kiss the trail with power.

I kiss the trail because it taught me a valuable life lesson.

I kiss the trail because it saved my restless soul.

I kiss the trail for allowing me to envision the world that I would love to possess.

It is time for me to leave.  I painfully turn my back to the path and limp away from the blameless trail.

GreenWayLuke Alexander loves swing and ballroom dancing, running, playing soccer, and hanging out with friends. He has three sisters (including a twin) and one brother. His parents are awesome. He dedicates this essay to his grandpa because he loved writing, too.