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.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Blessings

Rain bounced off the windshield.  The sun was still sleeping as were most homes I drove by this Christmas Eve morning.  The city streets were considerably quiet; most retailers still closed preparing for a busy day.

I turned down a dark, desolate road and by the glow of my headlights could see the rain bounce off the pavement.  Although the calendar read December 24 the temperature read 41 degrees.  We were going to get wet, but we wouldn't be cold.

Pat was waiting for me.  We wanted to get in a few more miles than the rest of the group and met a little earlier to get them in.  We started our watches and headed down the road.  It was still dark making the navigation around puddles a little more difficult.  Mid-sentence you would often hear us call out, "Puddle" and we'd side-step, jump or swim across the collected rain water.

We finished the miles near the coffee shop we were to meet the group.  Right on cue, there they stood waiting for the run to begin.  There were many of us today, all there to celebrate the blessings of each other this Christmas Eve.

The rain was still falling, yet we didn't seem to notice.  Like a big family gathering, we all talked at once and still heard the conversations had by others.  Running by the ocean, the grey of the rain hid the islands and blended with the ocean water.  A lone blue heron flew overhead.  

People were beginnig to emerge from their homes to get some fresh air before the holiday craziness would settle in.  A few groups of runners would pass us on the trail and we'd all exchange a friendly smile and a "Merry Christmas!".

Reaching the bench, we turned around and headed back to town.  We all admire an evergreen tree on the trail in which people have hung up ornaments; an unexpected dose of Christmas found amidst the trees on the trail.

Each of us wet from our run, we quickly change into clean shirts and coats and head into the coffee shop to celebrate the season with a cup of something hot.  Our group has taken over a corner of the shop, pulling in chairs to crowd a table.  These are my friends, my running family.   We have seen our worst, we have seen our best and we celebrate each of us.  In a season where we celebrate God's greatest Gift, I pause to celebrate the blessing He's given me in these people sitting here around a crowded table in a corner of the coffee shop.  I can't think of a greater way to start my Christmas Celebration.  Merry Christmas to you, my running family.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunday Morning

The sun shone bright in the cold December sky.  Temps sat at a brisk 35 degrees.  The coldness in the air hits my lungs hard as I walk out from the warmth of my home.  My 10 year old is climbing onto his bike.  While I run, my son Dane will ride next to me; giving us alone time together.  Today's run will be short in hopes the shins behave.

Normally a 5 a.m. runner, it feels good to be running in the daylight. A slight wind makes the temperature seem chillier than it is.  I should have worn gloves.  I look over at Dane who quietly wraps his coat around his hands to protect them from the cold.  He doesn't complain.  I am impressed with him.  He has a marathoner's determination.

Our neighborhood is quiet as the laziness of a Sunday morning is evident.  Frost makes the grass sparkle.  Dane and I are side by side as we make our way down the street lined with homes emitting curls of smoke from chimneys high on rooftops. 

Turning onto the main road, I pull ahead and Dane falls single file behind me.  It's a comfortable silence, neither of us saying much; both lost in thought.  I wonder what a 10 year old thinks about in quiet, reflective moments.   The sun shines on Mount Baker making the snow capped mountain beckon its skiers.  A tractor hums in the distance.

My left shin hurts reminding me of my 52.4 mile adventure the weekend before.  I wonder how long the recovery will be.  We turn toward home, Dane is in no hurry to race home, but rather perfectly content riding next to me.  Very little was said bewteen us as we shared the miles; just mom and son together.  

We turn onto our street and I break the silence, "Thank you Dane for coming with me on my run, I really enjoyed spending the time with you."

"Me too Mom.  Thanks."

Sometimes life's biggest moments are shared in silence on a quiet Sunday morning.