If only I had packed my running shoes

Many, many years ago, I had the blessing to live in a suburban setting where I could head out in one direction and walk hills, and head out another direction and walk by the bay. All of this was within 5 minutes of my front door.

My agenda today happened to take me back to this place, and I remembered that bayside walking path and thought about having the appropriate pieces of clothing along in my car.

If only I had followed that instinct this morning. For as I now sit along this path, with a beautiful spring breeze at my back, I have this strong urge to just run.

Once when I was about 4 or 5, my parents and I were out in the countryside and had to walk back to the bus. It was a long distance. Playfully, I started to run ahead. My parents let me, thinking that my little legs would tire shortly. They didn’t and I as a child didn’t think about stopping. Twenty minutes later I head my father yelling my name. And I thought it was just a game! Finally he caught up with me and he asked me, very nicely, if I could stop. As I looked backwards I realized that I had run for essentially a good mile or so. My mother was far behind us, holding onto my little brother. As my father and I walked back to her, he didn’t scold – he merely mentioned that I must like to run.

Years later, to today, if I had my running shoes I would run with that same determination. And even though I probably could not run a full mile without breaking down, I would continue to just run – because there is a freedom to being as close to the wind as possible that is just energizing, rejuvenating, and giddy making.

If I had packed those running shoes, I’d be giddy right now. Breathless and giddy, and loving it. Just goes to show – arthritis and weak bones may be a reality. But God made me a runner, one that just does it as a game. Go figure.



The power of silence

It was difficult to get up this morning. And as I say that I smile, for instead of regret for facing the day, it was difficult to get up because it was just too early. The more comical thing is that I was fully awake perhaps 30 minutes before the alarm, rearing to go. Yet as soon as 6am came about, I wanted to snuggle deeper into the covers.

But I talked my way through it. And as I closed my eyes to attempt to see the day, all I saw was a blank slate. Part of me wished it would be a blank white slate – that just seemed so much more positive. Yet the blackness meant there was a mystery, a trail for me to start on. And the only way to find out what would happen would be to get up and participate in the day.

Coffee brewing, a salad of pistachios/salmons/grapefruit, plus a bowl of yogurt and berries made their way into my lunch pack. Twenty minutes later than planned, off I was to the pool. I felt silly paying the $6 knowing that this old, sedentary body would only be able to move for about 20 minutes. But I went. I swam. I only heard myself talking, pacing myself, reminding my body of what the smooth breaststroke felt like. No other voice directed, no other breadcrumbs were spoken, giving me hints about the day.

After showering off and getting dressed, a voice behind me complimented me on my skirt. Turning around I see an old acquantinqnce. And the power of silence, of that black view of what the day would be like, began to take shape. She and I talked , walked outside together and wished each other a good day.

She called me later, to follow up. And as we neared the end of the conversation, she told me that today was her birthday. Seeing me this morning, and chatting about the fruition of her passion and her upcoming projects was a gift I had given her.

And I didn’t even know it. How cool is it that God placed both of us in the same place, and made each of us a gift to the other? If my new little voice had told me that my day would have this wonderful surprise, would it have been as powerful, as impactful, as humbling as it turned out to be by the grace of God?

The voice may be silent. But it has never stopped listening. And as I kneel more and more and give thanks for just the smallest and biggest wonders, I also thank the quietness of the voice, for it has managed to speak to me in volumes, merely by taking all worries and preconceived ideas away.