It’s an old sentiment, but one I’m thinking about as I fly home. I’m above the clouds now, and over my shoulder I spy the warming tones of the setting sun.
The sight made me want for Florida at first. But on second thought, what I’m missing is beauty. Winter’s cloudy, chilly mornings have kept me indoors on days I’d rather run.
Running outdoors is my meditation. My journal. It’s high fives to the rabbits who line the greenway, and smiles to the rising sun. It’s awe with flowers blooming in spring, leaves turning in autumn. It’s deep breaths in time with my feet – percussion behind a chorus of birds.
It’s been a while.
Sometimes my entire work day is spent in the bowels of a school. Cinder blocks obstruct the sun and the evergreens right along with cell service. “I’m in a bunker today,” I tell Blue.
The moments left before sunset are spent navigating Atlanta’s traffic. If you wait too late to hit 400 from 285, you might as well stay put another hour or two.
Despite an uncooperative schedule, it’s easy enough to experience beauty.
Some runs are just good runs. This morning’s run definitely goes in the books as a good one. Why?
I found a new route that works well.
Because I’m in a new area, I’m mapping and remapping routes as I run. This morning I found a couple of good stretches without too many turns to memorize. Moreover, today’s route didn’t take me over too many ginormous hills nor past too many dilapidated houses.
I ran 4 miles. Again.
Although I used to run 4 miles 3-4 times a week, it was all on relatively flat land. I’m building the stamina to run 4 miles on hilly terrain. Although I’ve hit the magic number a couple of times this summer, it’s my first time this year running 4 miles twice in one week. Progress!
I ran hard.
Today’s run was not for punks. I’m no speed demon, but based on my current level of fitness, I really pushed it. I opened up my stride and maintained a nice pace for decent stretches. It felt good to work hard without feeling tired or run down. It’s refreshing to remember what athleticism feels like: VICTORY (that’s my name, by the way).
I welcomed the sun goddess.
Today, during a short breather, I said good morning to the sun (yes, out loud). One of my favorite things about running is the opportunity to be outside and connect with nature. This is especially awesome when I run from first light to sunrise and can see the sky warming as we welcome the morning. Since I’ve moved away from the Sunshine State, I’ve had to work a little harder to catch the sun’s beauty, but two of my new routes allow just that.
All in all, this morning’s run was fabulous. I’ve been eating more mindfully and resting as much as possible the past couple of days. I’m starting to feel more like myself. I’m feeling good and getting back to great. Coincidence?
Naturopaths and nontraditional healers often mention the healing properties of sunshine. And depending on where and how we grew up, our parents and grandparents spoke of it, too. My personal relationship with the sun has always been one of respect and admiration… my mood and energy levels often mirror the brightness of the sun. So it pleases me whenever “traditional” research makes linkages between sunshine and good health.
As one in a growing number of women who live with uterine fibroids, I’m interested in understanding their causes. Like many complex questions, the more we understand about the genesis of a thing, the more we can do to heal it and prevent it.
It’s my favorite time of day – the dark before the dawn. First light alerts the world to the coming sunrise. This morning my cat is snuggled next to me as I write in my darkened bedroom. I have long favored early morning because it’s nearly silent, mostly still. Hints of noises and shadows of movements as many of nature’s beings prepare for the day ahead. Daniel once tweeted his praise for early mornings: the world is quiet, Spirit is loud. Yes. It’s a time of hope and possibilities. Beginnings. Today is also an ending of sorts.
Today marks my 30th post in as many days. I’ve completed my personal challenge. The last time I wrote 30 posts in 30 days I found the process wearing. I was glad to develop the discipline, but I felt it wasn’t a sustainable practice. The daily writing was (mostly) sustainable, but the writing daily for public consumption (while also fielding multiple obligations) was not. This time around, I dunno. The experience was very different and things evolved in a way I hadn’t planned. I guess that’s reflective of life generally. What’s truly alive is not stagnant.
Tomorrow marks a new beginning. Blue arrives! In a few days, we’ll be heading home.
—- I took this photo just after 7 a.m. I had planned to write a short missive on morning, my favorite time of day. Well, the day came and went before I had the chance to write. Here it is, nearly 10 p.m., and I’m looking forward to morning again.
Today I wore a turquoise wrap. Peacock blue, to be precise. Smug and perky, a bright splash of joy draped across my shoulders, I took in the scene on the airport tram. Shook my head at the stoic wall of black-navy-gray. Oh, what a spot of color wouldn’t do to add a dose of cheer…
Walking through the security line, my eyes spotted a fellow smug and perky. The slight smile on his face framed by a bright red sweater. He strolled, weaving through the stanchions with an air of confidence and a hint of fun. It was the red. I know it.
My window seat afforded me a perfect view of the bay set against the pink-orange dusk. Smug and perky overcome by the sinking realization my time near salted waters and humid air is rapidly coming to a close.
I pressed the lap button at 2.5 miles, only to find out I was never keeping time. I did what I sometimes do in circumstances like this…I stopped running. I had gotten off to a much later start than usual, so the sun was bright overhead, and walking a few paces in the cheerful warmth was a welcome commune with nature. I spotted fish, not merely jumping, but seriously engaged in sport and one-upmanship. I spoke to a couple of ducks on the trail. The easy pace and beautiful scenery got me in a meditative mood. I mused about home.
What is home, exactly? A place or a moment that resonates. It’s gathering of old friends around a good game of Taboo. A visit to the tried and true corner barbershop one Saturday morning. Sometimes home is less fleeting. It’s a city where sunshine runs rampant. A house you’ve built with your partner. Whenever, wherever your heart feels welcomed and your spirit feels at ease, is home.
Home has been on my mind as of late. I’m unsettled. That’s a bit of a revelation, because I was drawn to my current city. I quite literally ached to be here. And when I moved here (for the second time) it resonated so strongly with me, I was loath to be away for any period of time. I was home.
But life is for the living and circumstances have changed. As beautiful as my surroundings are, they no longer seem to fit where I am internally. How it can be – a place I still love no longer resonates? I think it’s because this home was for healing. I needed to be here, in the sunshine, near the salty water. I had old wounds to tend. Wholeness to restore.
It was love at first sight – the Caribbean Sea. A girlfriend and I celebrated her birthday on Barbados. We made friends with the locals, navigated roundabouts while driving on the wrong side of the street, sampled the island rum, and won prizes dancing and guessing famous songs. I purchased a beautiful amber bracelet with matching earrings from a man on the beach. But mostly we bronzed in the sun and played in that divine water. Water ski. Jet ski. Snorkeling. Sitting still, admiring.
I cried when we left.
And maybe I shouldn’t have, because my tears brought me back. Daddy died suddenly. Friends, family and serendipity brought me to St. Maarten to mourn. The water was a little unsettled there, or perhaps it was my broken heart. But it was healing, nonetheless. The sight of it. The smell of it. The feel of it. The taste. The sound…
Weeks after my return home, I couldn’t sleep without hearing it. I still have the nature sounds clock on my nightstand a half decade later.
And so today when someone asked, Where would you like to go? I immediately imagined those gorgeous waters. St. Lucia.
I don’t know who, if anyone will accompany me when I go. But I shall go for love.