blinded by the light

The best thing I did this week was the run I didn’t have time for.

Some weeks are like that, so filled with work and responsibilities, that you forget to look up, enjoy life. You forget to breathe.

I did have a few hours with my husband and my windmills on Tuesday, and in many ways, THAT was the best part of the week, but then the next thing I knew, it was Friday afternoon and my body just started screaming at me: run. I haven’t been in several weeks, all this gardening has been tough on my knees, but I haven’t done that this week either and my knees were feeling fine. My carpal tunnel on the other hand… oh my. My body needed to move.

And so, despite the fact that it would mean working later on a Friday than I wanted to, I got my gear on and headed to the trail. Before I even started running, as I was walking for my warm-up, I spotted a pair of cedar waxwings just above my head, doing the sweetest little courtship dance. The were snuggling and chirping, bobbing and dancing, ruffling up the crests on their heads. Acting like love birds. And just like that, there was a big smile on my face.

It was a good run, 4.5 miles, which these days, for me, is quite a feat. The weather was just perfect, not too hot, clear and sunny, and I felt myself breathing again, taking in the green and the trees and sun. Feeling alive.

On my way back down the trail, as I was walking to cool off, a Baltimore oriole landed in a bush right next to me and started eating berries. Another bird I rarely see, and he stayed for several minutes, not at all concerned about my presence as he ate his fill.

It was the day of beautiful birds. And I was happy.

I went home and finished the work I had left to do, and finally, much later than I would have liked, made it outside to sit in the garden with a glass of wine and Ben Webster in the background. As I sat there with a purring kitten in my lap, exhausted and content, I spotted a dragonfly in the stones a few feet away.

At first I thought it was just resting, it fluttered its wings every so often, but after some time had passed and it didn’t move, I went to investigate. I saw no visible damage, and picked it up on a stick and placed it on a hydrangea bush with big, soft, green leaves, but clearly, the end was near. I sprinkled some water on the leaf it rested on, and knew that I was witnessing the death of a dragonfly.

A small death in the grand scheme of things, very small, really. And yet, I was filled with sadness.

So much in this life we take for granted. Some days, some weeks, just the simple fact that we are here, alive.

Just one tiny afternoon filled with tiny miracles and tiny tragedies.

And big, big lessons.




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