Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Walk in the Dark

Each weekday morning, I spend part of my morning talking to Chuck during his hour-plus commute to work. I like to walk and talk while he drives and talks. He leaves home at 6:00 CDT, and this morning, that meant I left our little house in Utah at 5:00, MDT, which is black dark-thirty in the rural town of Joseph.

There are street lights here, on some streets anyway, but with the full moon, I was encouraged to walk on the semi-illuminated streets. While we talked, I told Chuck about a time in my life when I went running four miles every day, just over the hill from here. 

Each morning I would get up at four to run before going to the elementary school to teach. My favorite weeks to run were always during the full moon. There were no street lights once I crossed the highway on the Brooklyn Road, just a long, lonely dirt lane with a few houses scattered on either side of the road.

One morning in particular sticks out in my memory. 

Snow had fallen the night before, and my run that morning felt like such a gift. There was a full moon reflecting off the fields covered with snow, and the dirt lane nearly glowed with moonlight. During my brisk run,  I filled my lungs with the cold, fresh air, keeping my wool cap pulled down tightly over my ears. The sound of my running shoes hitting the ground was muffled as my feet landed in the fresh powder. My breath puffed out in little steamy clouds that kept my face moist and cold. Everywhere I looked, the earth was covered with snow. It was hard to wipe the smile off my face during that run.

This morning was different, of course. There was no snow; it is still summer, after all,  but the air had cooled during the night, and there was a slight breeze when I left the house. The stars sparkle like diamonds in the eastern desert sky, in spite of the bright moon in the west casting its glow over the townof Joseph. I bravely set out for my walk, and told Chuck I just hoped everyone's dogs were locked up for the night. (The scars on the back of my leg from an unfortunate incident with a Blue Heeler are a reminder that not all dogs are friendly.) Luckily, I only had a minor panic attack just as I passed my neighbor's house, and realized their dog was running up behind me, but he ducked into his driveway, leaving me to walk the last hundred yards to my house alone. 

There is much to be grateful for today. I'm glad I feel so safe in this little town, even in the dark. I'm thankful for full moons, and knees that are holding up despite the gloom and doom prognosis of the orthopedic surgeon. I'm so glad to have a husband who likes to talk to me on his way to and from work. I'm happy that our youngest was sleeping soundly in his bed. While I'm not exactly thrilled that he just spent his last night at home with me, I am happy he is so excited about starting college. 

I will smile through this day, knowing I still get to see Bridger throughout the weekend. Tonight I will be joined by our daughter Sierra, and tomorrow we will drive to Saint George to join Dylan and Jamie for the weekend. Focusing on all of this good stuff will help keep the teary mommy thoughts at bay. Life is very good; I'm thankful for all of the reminders prompted by my walk in the dark.

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