The night before Independence Day, my son Charlie and I went to the Dallas Arboretum for the Dallas Wind Symphony concert. As the lawn crowds arranged themselves on blankets and folding chairs, sailors and scullers gathered in the lake nearby, stilling their boats to catch strains of patriotism wafting through the air. The sun slowly sank, replaced in the sky by a crescent moon flanked by a pair of clouds.
The setting, the music, the aura — they were all so was beautiful, and Charlie and I both got really pumped. One of us felt teary — overwhelmingly appreciative of everyone who has fought for this country. Plus, I felt unexpectedly emotional missing my precious dad — he who arguably liked setting off fireworks even more than we kids liked watching them, and who drilled it into us that when you hang the flag from the porch, the star field goes on the upper left.
By the time Charlie and I got home, I’d missed my usual bedtime by about an hour, so I set my alarm to go off 45 minutes or so later than usual.
I woke up after the sun and got dressed, making sure at least my shorts were patriotic blue. As I set out for my Friday run/walk on this Independence Day, there was the slightest of breezes — just enough for the flags in almost every front yard on my route to wave.
Sure, it was hot, but boy did I feel lucky and oh-so-blessed to be an American, running under a cloud-puffed sky, touching flags as I ran past and feeling their symbolic strength to keep me going.
So for the freedom to get outside; to run wherever and whenever (quoting my dad here) I darnday well please; to live in this, the greatest country in the world…The Grateful Runner says thank you.