I hate to run in the dark, but that is the only way you can run in late August, at least the only way I can. It’s so so early I’m not sure I’m even awake yet and I could sure use the company.
We’ll walk down the drive and as we turn out into the road, we check the time. It’s 6:05. We’ll be done in plenty of time to get Ginny up and be showered, minus the makeup by 7:30.
The first few yards are always the hardest. That’s when the joints ache, the muscles stretch and the brain tries to talk you into going back home and into the warm bed that still has your sleep impression. If we can last the first half mile, the wake up process begins. It’s still dark, and the air is thick. Summer is still heavy on us, but there is a small, almost imperceptible cool. We are breathing heavy now and each breath brings the smell of the new morning, wet dirt, and my neighbors morning glories that circle her mailbox. They are beginning to open up their delicate white faces. They find the first hint of morning light, invisible still to me, and face the dawn.
Around the curve, and we are in our groove. My neighbor is up early. He is turning over his garden. It was a good year for him, but all that is left now is sun-scorched stalks of corn and dried tomato vines. He turns it all under and lets the remnants feed next years soil.
A mile and half in, and our breathing hits its rhythm. Our joints are now fluid and the ache is gone. We hear the horses in the field. They enjoy this part of the day. A little colt scampers around and his mama snorts her approval at his antics. She paws the ground then looks at me, “Don’t worry mama, I don’t want to get near your baby, I’m just enjoying watching him.”
We head down the straightaway. This is a good time to let your mind drift and talk to God.
” God, will you help Wayne to understand sentence structure just like it’s measuring gutters?”
“God, help me to be slow to speak and quick to listen today.”
“God, Leslie is far from me, but not You. Protect her. Help her.”
“God, I love my Ginny-girl, would you help her to feel loved today?”
We pound out the prayers in time with our footsteps. God hears us, and as we round the corner, we see His smile, across the sky. The clouds allow the broad pink beams of first morning sun to spill across the lake.
A morning run, the trickle of sweat is now a drenching. That light-hearted feeling that gives way to a smile as Willow meets us in the drive, that my friend is endorphins. And that is why I love a morning run.