Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sunrise Over Me


I was up before my alarm went off, the iridescent glow on my cable box telling me it was 5:54am. 

I was wide awake. 

The half-light of dawn peeked around the edges of the windows and beckoned me outside. It drew me up, out of bed, and out the front door where the morning was silent but for the call of the birds surveying the neighborhood from their perch high atop the trees.

I stretched out my legs and set off through the early morning mist blanketing my street. I knew that by the time I got home the mist would be a memory, burned off in minutes by the rising sun. But for now it settled comfortably around me, bringing me into its center and carrying me through my first mile. 

My habitual route took me in a loop around my neighborhood. I ran through streets just beginning to shake themselves awake after a long night of slumber. I ran past houses - some still dark with shades tightly drawn, and others with kitchen lights glowing cozily as families rose to greet the day. 

On the corner a bathrobe-clad woman reached outside to grab her newspaper, a small dog prancing around her ankles. She smiled and waved to me, and I to her. I don't know her name, nor she mine, but every time I run, there she is, this woman who is one more reminder that this place now belongs to me.

Nine months ago I despaired of ever finding my footing again, but now here I was, waving at strangers who are really not strangers, running the streets that have become my own. 

Time is a funny thing.

I made the final turn with half a mile to go. I picked up my pace, running towards the sun, now high in the sky. For just a second I closed my eyes and, feeling the rush of wind as I raced down the final stretch, gave thanks for running, for early mornings, for silent streets, for health. 

For home.

I ended the run as I usually do. Standing on my deck in the back of my house, guzzling water, stretching out. Usually when I'm done I go straight inside to get ready for the day. But not today. There were showers to take, outfits to pick, coffee to drink, commutes to start, and work to do, but I wasn't quite ready. 

So I sat on the deck for a few more minutes, holding this unexpected morning close, tucking it into my heart where it would be if I needed it.

This morning will sustain me.

Because tomorrow's run might be harder.

22 comments:

  1. a perfect morning. a perfect run. a perfect post. :)

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    1. It was a perfect run for sure. Sometimes it's the memory of the perfect ones that sustains me through the not-so-perfect ones.

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  2. This is FANTASTIC. I love how this may only be 20 minutes of your life, and yet you've written it in such great detail that I could seriously read a whole novel about this. Your descriptions of the environment were so beautiful.

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    1. Oh wow, thanks so much. Something about a perfect early morning run always makes me think in poetry.

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  3. It's important to take those moments when they come. I love that you can run in the morning - I've tried, and it just doesn't work.

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    1. Getting up is never, ever easy, but once my shoes are on and I'm outside, it all feels worth it.

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  4. It's been a crazy summer and I have missed reading your blog! You always make running sound appealing which to me, even when I was a two sport athlete, it is not. However, my husband is convinced I should join the club. How do I start?!? I want mornings like this!

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    1. I'm e-mailing you, we'll make a runner out of you yet :)

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  5. your run reminds me of how I feel when I bike - especially your closing line! ha! :)

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  6. This is so lovely that it made me think fondly of taking a run, which is one of my least favorite things to do. I did go voluntarily the other day, though, just to try it out after returning to sea level after acclimating to the high elevation of Peru, and it felt great to breathe so easily.

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  7. You got that right-- tomorrow may stink like most of my runs these days. I love hearing your experience.

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  8. I really like this - your run, your neighbourhood, your time, your home! Brilliant :)

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  9. Wow. Just . . . wow. This was an exercise in perfection. This is a piece of writing that has me in awe of your amazing writing abilities. A fabulous story.

    Almost made me want to go for a run. Almost, I said. ;)

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  10. These lovely posts from you always make me want to love running. I don't. Yet. But I'll leave room for a yet. Just in case. :)Really capture the tone so well.

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  11. The early morning really is it's own little world.

    I think you're the one who's going to make runners out of us bloggers. Some of us anyways. :)

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  12. Back when I tried running, I loved running in the early morning before the heat and humidity rose. And I loved running the streets of my quaint little town, too. Maybe some day I'll get back to it...

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  13. Oh, I wish I could run. I wish I could run early. It sounds amazing, but alas, I'm tired and complaining after two minutes. I'm a wimp. ;) I so admire your ability to do it and your dedication to it. And your description of that little window of time in your day - that peek into your life - so well done Sam. I could actually feel that early morning feeling when the air feels different and everything is quiet. Great writing as always.

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  14. Are we on the same wavelengths, 900 miles apart? You know I loved this one. Just have to agree that your writing here is stunning. Well done!

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  15. Yay for saving the beautiful moments! And I'm so glad that you're feeling so much more at home in your new(ish) home. :)

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