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 23, 2012

Blessings Aware

The chill in the air held no rain or snow.  My parked car would keep me warm while I waited.  Still battling my hamstring, I have just begun to ease back into running since completing the California International Marathon a few weeks prior.  My friends were out doing a 4 mile loop and I would join them on the second 4 mile loop; my longest distance since returning.

The clock on my dashboard tells me I have about 10 minutes to wait.  Looking around I see downtown bustling with the Christmas holiday.  On the street corner a towering evergreen twinkled from top to bottom with sparkling white lights.  Street vendors, bundled against the weather, were setting up their stands in preparation of the Farmer's Market opening soon.  People everywhere were smiling.

Making their way down the street were two men which I guess to be 30 years apart. The clothes they wore told me they called the streets their home.  The homeless shelter was a mile away and I sensed they had just left there.   They share conversation as they walk toward the woods.

"Whadya find?" the younger one asks.

The older gentlemen is bending down in a parking space two over from mine picking something up off the concrete ground.

"Two pennies!" he exclaims, placing them in his pocket.

"SWEET!" the younger states with excitement; excitement I do not think I've ever seen over two cents.

My eyes look down to my $200 running watch, I zip up my $125 running jacket and I feel a twinge of shame.  I sit in my warm car wearing hundreds of dollars of gear I use only when I run and those two men were excited over two cents.  The contrast is stark.

Stephanie pulls her car up next to mine and we wait for our friends to come.  Right on time, they make their way up the road and we head toward the trail for a 4 mile run.  The Christmas excitement is felt and like a big Italian family gathering, we all talk and listen to each other at the same time.  I am beyond thrilled to be running with my friends again.

The trail takes us from downtown to the ocean.  Below the trail is an area the homeless frequent.  I don't see the two men.  A tree alongside the trail has been decorated with a collage of ornaments all left by a random person wanting to leave a bit of the Christmas spirit behind.

We run and discuss Christmas plans, Christmas gifts and the tasks still left to be done.  Everyone was busy, yet we took the time to come together.  The people running alongside me are one of my greatest gifts.  The run comes to an end and each returns to their car.  We toss aside gloves and grab wallets.  The coffee house awaits us.  In one last pre-Christmas run we give each other the gift of our time.  We will sit and laugh and tell stories.

The bell on the door jingles as we push the door open.  Our favorite barista is behind the counter; she smiles and waves. 

My blessings are many, this I am made very aware.

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