Saying thank you for sunshine

Blue sky, sunshine, February in Texas

Blue sky, sunshine, February in Texas

See enough of it, and sunshine becomes almost a given — one of those offerings of nature we come to expect: Walk onto the sidewalk, look up, squint a little. It’s up there, we’re down here, voila. And life goes on.

But we haven’t seen nearly enough of it lately. The sky’s stayed cloudy, the wind beyond brisk, and the air oh-so-cold. So this morning, finally feeling the sun — almost even before it ascended the sky — was a gift, one of those fling-your-arms-around-the-giver gifts.

My run today was, quite honestly, not particularly great. But I didn’t need gloves, and I wore short sleeves, and when I gazed at the sky, the sun — the sun!! — was pushing aside the moon.

While I can’t exactly wrap my arms around Mother Nature, when she treats me to such splendor, I can take her gift and let it fill me; I can let it guide my day. If only in my mind, I’m flinging my arms outward to take it all in — these sweet and dreamy and golden drops of a butterscotch morning.

So for sunshine and all it evokes; for days that beg to be embraced and mornings to be held close, The Grateful Runner says thank you.

Saying thank you for taking it slowly

Last night, I reached down to turn off the space heater I use to make my room toasty before I go to bed. As I stood up, I clonked my head on a corner of the door jamb. I screamed. and my son called out from the other room: “Are you OK?”

“NO!” I yelled back. “Could you bring me some ice?”

He did, bless him, and I kept it on my non-bleeding (thank you, Lord) wound all night. I slept quite well, actually. But when I woke up, I started thinking, “Oh my gosh. What if I have a concussion? What if (remembering what had happened to the youngest son of my friend Laura) I can’t look at a screen or read or exercise?”

Then I realized my head really didn’t hurt. But wisely, I think, I also figured if I was going to run (which I kinda thought I’d end up doing) I needed to take it easy.

So I did a run/walk ratio, running (rather slowly) for three minutes and walking for one. I do a two-minute-run-30-second-walk once or twice a week, but haven’t done the walk-for-a-minute part in eons.

Off I went, around the block a few times at first (just in case, well, you know, I started seeing double and feeling woozy and wanted to make sure I remembered which house was mine). But the longer I ran (and walked) the more confident I felt.

I finished in a decent amount of time, much slower than usual but I really didn’t care. I was happy to have run, happy to have listened to body (specifically the lump near my hairline) happy I didn’t conk out and forget my name.

For those, and for oh-so-much more, The Grateful Runner says thank you.