Saying thank you for running toward the sun


A week or two ago, while running on one of those Sunday mornings that truly felt like autumn and not merely a summer hanger-on, each turn of a corner and upward glance elicited yet another gasp. Not just whispered in my head or heart, mind you, but said with out-loud awe.

When I saw Edward, the man with the two collies I’ve written about here, I stopped briefly at the corner where our routes intersected to say hello and share my sky ogle.

“It is beautiful,” he agreed. He was heading west and the sun, at this point, was over his shoulder. He glanced behind himself for another peek. “I wish you could have seen the sky the moment the sun came up.”

“Oh my gosh,” I said, following his gaze. “It still seems to have more orange and pink stripes every time I look at it.”

I had taken out the lone earbud I wear when I run so I could talk to Edward. As I got ready to start up again, I put it back in, pausing the slightest of moments to decide which direction to head. I still had plenty of miles to run, so turning east, away from home, made the most sense on a practical level. But even if I’d been closer to meeting my set distance,  I’m all but certain I’d have sneaked in at least a few easterly blocks.

Edward said something to me then, which I didn’t quite understand.  I reached my hand to my ear, slightly moving the earbud aside. “I’m sorry,” I said. “I didn’t hear you. What did you say?”

“Run toward the sun,” he said again.

Which is exactly what I did.

So for the soft, spectacular stripes of morning…for a sky that belongs to us all…for running toward the sun…The Grateful Runner says thank you.