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I think I read somewhere along the line that the lyrics to this fine Neil Young tune are in reference to his first car. After reading and listening to them a number of times over the ensuing years the second and third verses surely can be interpreted that way but as we all know the same things can have different meanings for different people. It’s the first verse that really grabs me and from a purely personal standpoint it kinda reminds me of my current relationship with my kid.

We've been through
some things together
With trunks of memories
still to come
We found things to do
in stormy weather
Long may you run.

Back when she was little there seemed to be a time when we were the center of each others circle. This was the time when I would pick her up from school and we’d go straight home secure in the knowledge that we had each other for company. This was the time before boys and cars and teammates and staying out past 7:00PM was strictly taboo. This was the time before the Internet and dances and sleepovers. This was the time of heart attacks and recovery. It seems funny to me now that we were so content with our little world that we, or at least I, never saw the changes that loomed just over the horizon.

Long may you run
Long may you run.
Although these changes
have come
With your chrome heart shining
in the sun
Long may you run.

Nowadays, it seems that we somehow have drifted apart and maybe that’s just a natural progression related to the aging process. The visits are shorter and the phone calls sometimes seem stilted with awkward pauses and one word answers. The calendar always seems to be full and while I feel a bit jealous about that I’m also a bit relieved. It tells me that her social skills are in demand and that she’s not sitting off in a corner somewhere pouting over her teenage angst. Soccer, Student Council as well as book club, volunteer work and a steady boyfriend devoid of teenage drama have gone along way in filling any void that might exist.

It’s only going to be two short years or so before she’s off to college. Her world is expanding while mine seems to be contracting.

I’m guessing that’s the way it’s supposed to be. I’m okay with that.

I just want her to know that while she may indeed run long, she can never run far.

Selected lyrics lifted from the song Long May You Run originally written and recorded on album by the same name way back in 1976 by the Stills-Young Band.

I can't remember when, exactly, I first read Run like you are six. It might have been when she first wrote it, or maybe some months later. What I do know is that I first read it long before I was ever a runner.

I imagine I'm not the only person who read it again this week.

It's still as beautiful as it ever was, but I'm a runner now and now it's different. She writes of running "for the feeling of being faster than everything else" and I get it. She talks of the "pure joy" and I get it. I want to punch the air and say "There's a subtext here that defies language, and I know exactly what it means."

I skipped my run this morning because I wasn't feeling up to it; I felt out of sync all day as a result. Her words kept running through my head. "She's right," I kept thinking. "Pure joy."

Christine, when I run tomorrow — and whenever I run — I promise to savour it, all of it: the joy and the weightlessness and the feeling of being fast. And when that feeling surfaces, I'll be reminded of you and your ever-enduring strength and grace.

Long may you run
long may you run
although these changes
have come
with your chrome heart shining
in the sun
long may you run.

Boundless love to wertperch and imp/buddha, to lizardinlaw and to everyone who loved and will always love our dear grundoon.

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