Have you heard these expressions?
"It's just running its course."
"the rain was coursing down"
"the course of true love. . ."
"taking a course"
I'm running a course this weekend, and thinking as I do about what the language tells us about all these different courses. Some of them mean something like "to move quickly through a path or channel," and the others preserve this sense of something set moving so that it's direction can be foreseen.
Running a course is like flowing smoothly and naturally in a direction that is set and flexible. It is like putting all of mind and body to work to get somewhere quickly while responding to what is going on around me. It is like being immersed in movement, even while standing still. And it never does run entirely smooth.
Before I run a course, I set its course with plans and outlines and strategy and hope. It's the hope that provides the speed as other people run the course, their thoughts and energy moving through the channel carved out of the interaction of material and intention.