Running in Warfare or Me versus the Minivan
On a run yesterday I did a loop to spend extra time in a brushy trail area. The sagebrush sticks out into the path a bit and it's wonderful to brush your hands around a twiggy branch and then smell it, pungently sweet.
As I avoided rocks and weaved over the dusty, slender way, Abner and Asahel's story came to mind. These two warriors served Saul and David respectively, two competing kings of Israel thousands of years ago.
Abner is pursued by Asahel for some miles post battle and this is a running for your life situation. Except maybe not, because at one point Abner growls back at Asahel to stop chasing him because he doesn't want to kill him. Asahel keeps at it. Miles later Abner turns around and cuts him down.
That story played out in my imagination as my feet kept moving.How fit you had to be to fight without tank, jeep, horse; just your two hands, two feet, two eyes, two legs, and two lungs between you and death.
Earlier this year I read a novel called Drums Along the Mohawk. Terrible title, fascinating book. This is a vibrant history set in the Mohawk valley during the American Revolutionary War. Written in 1936 by Walter Edmonds who did a deep dive into research to splenderifically tell the tales of German, Irish, British, Alogonquin, Mohawk, Iroquois people all trying to live in harsh times. Really harsh.
One scene, based on truth, is of a German settler who outruns several Alogonquin runners. He goes all day and the description of him putting on bits of speed, then pacing himself as he gets out of distance of bullet from the pursuer, is just so real. As a runner, I know how it feels to come to the end of my lungs, needing to slow down but wanting to keep moving. In this case, he had to keep moving or get hacked to death.
The use of foot runners is a constant in historical accounts of battles ("marathon" comes to mind) and that wonder of running for your life, for your people, for the battle just amazes me.
I don't own a horse or a chariot, but I have a minivan.
This month it will be interesting to see which gets more use: the van or my feet. I'm in my own battle over here...not sure what my opponent is (Covid 19? Boredom? Screwy, idiotic government?) but I'll keep on running.