What Was That?

So life has been weird lately.

Depending upon how you look at it, I’m either entering a new phase of life or leaving an old one. My kids are building their resumes, planning careers, and I will likely have an empty house by the end of the summer. I’ve never had a childless house in my adult life, and frankly, the prospect makes me feel a little lost. Additionally, there have been some grave illnesses, diagnoses, and deaths among colleagues, friends, and their loved ones. People who seem altogether too young, too smart, too wonderful, too put-together, too wrong to have bad things happen. There’s been too much too much. It’s been hard and heavy on the soul. More succinctly: adulting sucks.

When I got home tonight, I debated as I pulled on my running sneaks. It’s too windy. It’s too warm. I don’t know if I want to do this. My pants are too tight. My shirt is too big. But Drew dropped by briefly and guilted me into it. So off I went.

The temps were hot, but the sunshine felt wonderful on my face — and the gusty winds kept me cool.

I listened to a podcast with pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber and laughed out loud as I ran. I discovered the peonies in the neighborhood have completely faded, but the irises are still lovely. I glanced at the baseball field and smiled at three little boys who were oblivious to their team’s drills in favor of digging in the dirt. Suddenly I’d knocked out my first mile and I hadn’t even noticed.

But what I did notice is how happy I felt. And grateful. Insanely, inordinately grateful.

Yes, I’m in a new phase of life, I thought to myself, but the operative word here is “life.”

How lucky are we to have these blessings in life? And how much would some of these people who are experiencing illness, deaths, and misfortune give anything to be able to savor these experiences for as long as possible?

The best way I know to describe the feeling is to say that this run became such a sacred space. A space with strong legs and deep, clean breaths. A space with late afternoon sunshine and long shadows.

A space in which an elderly woman beamed when I admired the haircut of her freshly-groomed shih-tzu. A space where tree blossoms littered the sidewalk.

 Before I knew it, I was unlocking my front door and my run was over.

I’m still marveling at the experience.

I’m still at a crossroads in life — and I’m still not altogether ready for these changes. But I’m so profoundly grateful to be alive, healthy, and well. What an unbelievable blessing.

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