Friday, November 28, 2008

Gratitude

Yesterday I went for a run at about 4:30 in the afternoon. Thanksgiving evening, and every car that passed me looked at me a little curiously. They were filled with people in hounds tooth jackets and strings of pearls and on perhaps the most unified day of the year to cease work and give thanks, when regardless of race or religion or political inclination everyone around me was ready to relax, ready to indulge, I was sweating and out of breath and forcing myself to work.

This running thing is still new to me, and it's not easy. I too easily find reasons to indulge. I too infrequently find resolve to pursue self-discipline. The more bemused looks I received the more proud of myself I felt.

I passed families playing football, basketball, frisbee. I passed windows framing families enjoying dessert, families saying grace, families decorating Christmas trees. I passed car after car after car of well-dressed celebrants. I thought of my own family playing at home, our turkey finishing in the oven, my girls for whom I want to have the energy to play football, basketball, frisbee.

I usually run after it's fully dark but in the dimming sky I benefited from all the things I could see, the looks from car windows and the kids on lawns: they all motivated me. I turned home beneath the most spectacular sunset. At the beginning of winter I came home under a fruit salad sky of perfect puff clouds in cantaloupe and watermelon and that velvety bluish-yellow of the insides of blueberries.

I opened the front door and even before I could remove my ear buds I heard an exclamation of Mama!! and before I could see them I heard bare feet and pajama-covered knees propelling my two torpedoes across the house to me. And as I tried futilely to sit on the floor to stretch my hamstrings the big one hung on my neck and asked how was your run? and the little one crawled in my lap and started clapping my face and the husband, their daddy, he filled his eyes with the picture of us from the couch and smiled. Pin It