Day 203

Hands on the door jambs, I inhale. It's still quiet enough that crunching gravel under tires--blocks away, even--sounds unnature. The sun is cutting through trees, clouds, painting perepheral vision maroon. A single pair of tail lights fade behind the shoulder of a building half a mile away.

I'd resisted the urge to sleep in, set my alarm several hours to 8 a.m. I'd had enough water. I had warmed up, stretched. I shut the door, leaving it unlocked--my housemates weren't yet awake, so I didn't have to worry about carrying house keys. Something garnished the breeze with a dash of berry; something aromatic, at least. I started jogging.

College Hill is ideal for running. There are steep hills if you want them, low-grade inclines, short cuts, straightaways--if you don't like one street, you can move to another. The sidewalks have a personality, from the stretch of brittle concrete on 6th Ave. to the rollercoaster dips near the end of 7th. I don't have much stamina--never have--so I let the sidewalks provide a fair share of the challenge.

I'm not sure how far I run. My internal odometer says close to two miles. It might be three. I get a good start walking, then run a quarter of a mile, slow down to a fast walk, repeat. I reached the three-quarters mark when the ink in the sky started spreading, pushing the gray out of the clouds and bleeding together into a soupy--but altogether breathtaking--mix.

Then the rain came.

I never liked getting wet. I mean, I bathe regularly and so on, but if I avoid water rides at amusement parks and retreat easily in water-balloon battles. The light blue on my shirt started turning dark in dots, then streaks, then gullys. The arc of the rain was water to dribble into my eyes, but I didn't speed up--in fact, I laughed. And I laughed more. Two older folks, jackets draped over their heads like the Headless Horseman's cape, sped by. I hooked onto the sidewalk on Route 18, drenched, taking the stairs to the coffee shop three at a time. Hair stuck to my face, water and sweat mingling and pooling on my lip. I laughed and caught my breath, watched the rain wash away the vestiges of night. The sun soon followed.

As I stretched in the coffee shop, I gave thanks to God for the rain, for sweat, for running, for dawn, for the birds that helped lure me out of bed with their song. I thanked God for renewal and redemption, for torn muscles that mend into something better, and for the countless parallels I miss everyday.

And I'm thinking that at the end of the day, after I had to break into my house (someone did wake up and lock the door), after I learned my car was yet again dead, after I realized I'll never finish the zillion things I need to finish before I leave for Michigan on Thursday. Weather the hardships, trust in Christ--torn muscles heal.

posted, with grace and poise, by Jason @ 3/28/2007 12:08:00 AM,


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