The World Through My Shoes is my look at living this incredible gift God has given us. As a busy wife, mother and daughter I relish the alone time I receive on my early morning runs. It is in the stillness of those predawn mornings where I often am inspired. Thank you for taking the time to read my words.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Winter's Morning

The city had come alive despite the winter's pre-dawn darkness.  Christmas shoppers were hustling about in search of the season's perfect gifts.  I rub my gloves together warming my hands as I wait for the others.  The brisk breeze brought the faintest smell of snow.

Laughter announces the arrival of my friends; right on time and ready to go.  We discuss the route we will take and the button beeps heard from our watches herald the start of our run. We talk of the cold and all agree it is better than the monsoon rains we ran in the previous week.

The trail wove us through the still quiet residential neighborhoods.  Homes were starting to awake and cartoons could be seen through big picture windows.  In spite of living in the city, we run streets we've never traveled before.  One of the joys of running is seeing parts of the city you might not ever experience if you had not been on foot.  We admire the architecture of one home and enjoy the Christmas lights of another.

We veer into a city park noticing the evidence of a previous day's wind storm.  Evergreen branches liter the ground as if God had been baking and shaken His sprinkle shaker while decorating Christmas sugar cookies.  Just as quickly as we entered the park, we left and began running down the creek lined parkway toward the ocean.

The creek was swollen from the December rains earlier in the week.  Indication of how high the water had risen was found on the banks of the creek.  Trees lay toppled in its midst with water rushing around the exposed roots.  We marvel at the strength of what we know as a tiny creek.

Coming along the ocean's side the wind begins to blow harder leaving us to feel it's bite on our cheeks and noses.  Away from the city center, the ocean side sleeps with inactivity.  Boats moored in the marina gently rock in the Pacific's waves.  A few fisherman are seen stirring about; the rest of the marina, quiet.

We follow the ocean as it leads into downtown.  Here the Farmer's Market is busy as vendors begin setting up their wares and people are milling around with the leisure found only in a weekend morning.  The smell of fresh food wafts from the grills.  Despite the earliness of the day, the food smells delicious.  Greeted by the trail head we succumb to its invitation and follow its rocky path leading us back along the ocean.

Reaching the furthest point of our run, we turn and head back into the city.  Making our way down the well traveled streets, we fall in rhythmic silence broken only by the sounds of our shoes hitting pavement.  The city center is busy and we find ourselves waiting at several red lights. 

It isn't long before we make our way back to the trail where our run had begun. The familiarity of it quickens our pace and we relax knowing the run is almost over.  We follow each winding turn and as promised, the trail delivers us to our finish. 

Someone notices the time and we discover we have a few unplanned moments to enjoy a cup of coffee at the coffee shop around the corner.  We sit around the table, warming our fingers which are wrapped around the cups holding hot coffee. We talk of fall marathons and quickly approaching Christmas plans.  A hard run and a winter's morning had gifted us a few extra minutes to sit around the table and enjoy the moment, a moment dripping with friendship and laughter.  We wish each other a merry Christmas and travel our separate ways.  That is, until a winter's morning calls us again.

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