If you stand at the top of the hill on the street your best friend in fifth grade used to live on, you can see the lights in the houses across MoPac. The hills on the other side of the highway look so close but so far away and that's kind of how running through your neighborhood feels, too. It's strange because you know your way through it like the back of your hand, this place you've lived for over sixteen years, but it seems so foreign on this not-quite-winter, not-quite-spring night. At the start, your mind is heavy with the thought of tests and people and things that cause creases in your forehead. But as your watch ticks the seconds and the sun gives way to the stars and the artificial -- but no less beautiful -- lights inside the houses, you will start to feel at peace. And when you reach the top, you won't stop to admire the view, but you will go around the block one more time just to keep on looking.
It will move you. You will want to take a picture, but you've got to learn there are some things you can't photograph and some you can't even write about. Some you just have to keep inside, under your chest, maybe, pressed against your lungs, or between your ribs.
When you get home, the peace is shattered with the sound of voices and the bombardment of colors and lights. It's like coming up to the surface after swimming underwater, all the noise that suddenly jerks you out of your dreams of being a mermaid. You think of Prufrock: "'til human voices wake us, and we drown." This is reality; this is not a children's picture book.
Running is nothing like flying, but when you look at pictures you can see both feet off the ground and for a few seconds, you'll feel a tiny bit invincible.