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Deep in Hawaii Kai the ocean opens
like a generous shrine of blue under a sky
crossed by winsome clouds of white.

We ran toward it and turned away
to face mountains before the sun broke through
and reminded us of the silly sacrifice

of grinding through miles on legs finding
stretches of roads fresh with morning rain
before we runners came, our faces etched

by too many hours of pain but fed by hope
and sweet faith that these extreme distances
lead to something more as we called out to each other

heads bent by exhaustion, voices strained
but awakened by knowing we were not alone,
that the path had become clearer and suddenly our own.

It’s been five days since I left Hawaii Kai and friends I met
for the first time. I wait and wonder if I left too soon
or if now I need to let go, half healed, altered and spent.

Written by Rüdiger Rückmann
on 28 July 2017