Sunday, April 15, 2012

Spring has sprung

Favorite moments from a weekend jaunt to Edisto Beach:
An early morning walk with an 8 year old, watching a starfish slip back into the sea.
A game of tag on the beach at sunset, finding the dipper on the way home
Watching a bluebird watch me
Waking a late-sleeping teen with a blue crab claw
Sitting on a dock in a tidal creek, syncing with the ebb and flow,
Napping and then napping more


     The finish line was not where it was supposed to be. I had been training for a race for months, working my way up from just about no running to running a 5K. That's five kilometers, 3.1 miles. It may not sound like much, but for a non-runner, trust me, it is. After all my hard work building up endurance, I could not figure out why I was feeling so tired already at the halfway point. I had my iPhone in my pocket, so on the return trip to the start/finish point, I turned on its GPS-enabled running application to keep track of my distance, time, and pace. When I felt my legs telling me I could not run anymore, I checked my phone. That's how I learned that this "5K" course was much longer than 3.1 miles. In fact, when I crossed that finish line, which should have been about 1.55 miles from the halfway point, I looked at my phone again and saw that it was actually 2.3 miles! That means that the race was about 4.6 miles in total, and I ran all but the last mile of it! Now I was plenty annoyed when I realized that (although it may have just been the fact that I was so grouchy from being sore and tired and hungry), but now I am almost thankful. I ran over three and a half miles, which is farther than I think I've ever run in my life. And I would not have been pushed to my limits and beyond if things had gone according to plan. I would not have learned what I was capable of if the finish line had been where it was supposed to be.


“Be tough the way a blade of grass is: rooted, willing to lean, 
and at peace with what is around it.” 
      On my run today, I noticed the grass in all of the yards I passed. The grass has greened up in most places, but it’s still brown and full of weeds in others.  Some yards, clearly over-seeded for the winter, have a lawn of fresh spring green grass.  The fertilized lawns look a deeper, richer green.  So many shades of green.
     Grass is tough stuff.  It gets stepped on day after day and springs right back up.  It dries up during a drought but freshens right up after a gentle rain.   I pull tough rooted runners of grass from my flower beds and even out of cracks in the driveway.   Grass is persistent, continuing to grow even though it's chopped down weekly with the power mower.   I find myself needing those qualities these days - a little more toughness, persistence, resilience.  So, if you're looking for me, I'll be in the back yard, sipping a nice cool drink and meditating on the grass.


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