Madorun

Saturday afternoon was sunny with a strong breeze running off of the ocean. Saturday was also the day a good friend and long time colleague was interred on Kosrae. Had he been a drinker of sakau, I might have had a circle of partners to join over a cup and talk story. He was not, however, a partaker of the slimy concoction. Over the years I had known him, outside of work he kept to his home life.

With his entire family over on Kosrae for the burial, I felt a sense of emptiness. The past thirteen months has seen a number of friends cross that final frontier. Benson, Iris, Ahser, Wilson, and now Harvey. Not being able to be at his graveside mourning, I did what I always tend to do when loss hurts. I ran. I ran down the hill. Down to the river. And I kept on running.

From the start  at 14:44 I ran slowly in the heat of the afternoon, not reaching The Village until just after four. The Madolehnihmw border slid past me at 17:11 and I reached the ESDM school at 17:31.

Sunset finally ended my run three hours after starting, and I collapsed into the grass on a knoll above a church on top of a larger hill in Kinakapw, Madolehnihmw. I cannot say I felt any less of a sense of loss for the effort. Only that three hours of running in equatorial sun, heat, and humidity brings a sense of pleasant exhaustion. I also enjoyed the many who called out my name, invited me to sakau, offered me dinner, or shouted "Kommoal!" as I ran past. I was reminded that although I may one day live elsewhere, this is where I feel welcomed and at home.

Somewhere out in U I realized that if I should be so fortunate as to one day keel over while running, I should be honored to be buried right where I fall, for clearly that would be the place chosen for me to "kommoal" in the most final sense of the word rest. I wonder what the local laws are concerning road side graves?

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