Three miles

Today was just not working out.

I slept very well, and it was a lovely day, but I was so groggy and thick-headed that I couldn’t begin to function until 9.

I had planned to start the week right by doing art first thing, but when I looked at the glass I didn’t have any idea what to do with it.

Work felt like I was spinning the wheels of a two-ton truck in mud and about to lose the transmission entirely. Answering emails was a litany of apology and minutia. I was constantly interrupted and lost focus again and again.

At 3 o’clock I took a nap, which usually lasts no more than 30 minutes, but I woke up at 5 p.m.

A whole precious day wasted. There’s no worse feeling in the world. It reminds me of the years when I lost so many beautiful days to depression.

I got in the car and went to the playfield. The sky was solid gray and threatening rain, but I figured that even walking a few laps was better than nothing.

Before my brain surgery, I would do three miles of intervals on the track, alternating running and walking for each of the 12 laps.

In December, I was able to walk 4 laps with my sister. Slowly.

About six weeks ago, I was walking 10 laps at a good pace.

Today I thought maybe I’d try to run a little. I walked the first four laps, part of me still groggy and unfocused.

I noticed a big tulip poplar tree at the edge of the playfield near the stream. Full of those garish yellow blossoms tipped with orange.

blossoms in tulip poplar

I never see those blossoms in the tree, only on the ground. There were a hundred blossoms, all in this big tree. Lit up like a starry sky.

In nine years I’d never noticed this tree before.

I ran the fifth lap. It felt fine. Felt good in fact.

The fact that I can run.

I continued on, doing intervals for lap 6 …. The air on my face. Blue irises by the stream. My legs are straight and strong. My feet don’t hurt. My head doesn’t hurt. I can see. I can walk. I can run.

Lap 7, still running … then walking… something red in the grass.

Wild strawberries.

So small, such bright red, growing in the weeds, pushing their way out from a tangle of other stems.

bunch of berries

Lap 8 …  When we first moved here, I had a hysterectomy, and when I was recovering, Tom and I walked very slowly around this track and I leaned on him.

Lap 9 … It began to rain. Just a few drops. I can run.

Lap 10 … I looked at the strawberries and kept going, A little more rain. Colder now on my bare legs.

Lap 11. More rain. I didn’t care. It felt good. I can run.

Lap 12. I ran to the car.

Three miles.

The day was not a total waste.

I can run.

Today’s penny is a 2015, because I might have never run again.