I had a glorious run today, one of those when I couldn’t bear or seem to stop. Yes, the air was cold, but the wind had moved east, leaving stillness and stars and — after I took my ear buds out — silence. I removed them while listening to Morning Edition on NPR, my dependable and constant companion when I run.
But the morning was too beautiful to hear an interview about the torture known as water boarding, so out the ear buds came. I’ve done this on other mornings (admittedly, not often when David Greene — whose voice makes me sigh just thinking of it — is speaking.
Some mornings, my silence shares the air with construction-crew conversations as lunchbox-carrying workers head for their jobs at the University of Texas at Dallas. On others, it’s broken by grunts from boot-campers in the parking lot or commands from their instructors.
Today, I didn’t hear those. I heard my own voice — almost unrecognizable because my vocal cords felt frosty — say good morning to a man walking, hands in his blue-jeans pockets. I heard a dog bark, thankfully not while rushing toward me. I heard the sound of a city truck stopping on a street where I’d earlier smelled gas.
Mostly though, I heard what I sometimes take for granted — my heartbeat and my footsteps.
And for that, as well as the silence that allowed me to listen, The Grateful Runner says thank you.