I went outside for a run yesterday, for the first time in about 4 months. It was my usual 3 mile run around our neighborhood. I was a little out of shape so I took it slow and not the competitive 9-minute-mile pace I used to do. In fact I was even reduced to a walk when I got to the uphill part of my run. But I did not feel bad, I was just thankful to be outside again and just enjoyed the world around me. After being enclosed for so long during the bitter cold winter, it felt so liberating.
It was still chilly, about mid 40’s F (7-8 C), so I had to dress in layers. The air was cold and crisp, but I could smell that spring was in the air. It was a bit cloudy with the sun peeking through the clouds when I started, but by the end of my run the clouds have rolled away and I felt the warm sunshine in my face. The snow was almost gone except for few patches, revealing the brownish-pale green grass underneath it (I almost forgot that there is grass beneath all those blanket of snow). The shrubs appeared trampled and crushed, perhaps from the weight of the snow that covered them. There were scattered branches of trees that have broken, again from the heavy load of snow and ice. In a far distance, down in the valley, I viewed that the river had swelled to its banks from all the melting snow plus the rain we had in the past 2 days.
I was glad I did not bring my i-pod, for the songs of the birds around me became my music. I felt like Rocky with the birds cheering me on. Aside from birds that I always see, I spotted 3 blue jays, and 1 red cardinal. I also saw 3 flocks of geese flew above me in their wonderful V-formation. The birds were back from their southern migration. 2 dogs from my neighbor greeted me with their friendly bark as they wag their tails (I was really hoping they will not give me a chase as I’m not in shape for a sprint). I spotted 3 squirrels and 1 even crossed my path, while a rabbit bounced away quickly when he saw me coming.
As I continued my run, I passed a neighbor’s house with his Christmas decoration still in his front yard. Maybe he felt it was still too cold to take them down, or maybe he will leave them there until the next Christmas. Then I saw 2 boys playing with their scooters in their driveway, with their helmets and heavy jackets on. When I passed the playground, I saw a father rocking her 2 little girls in the tire swing. I know those girls will have a beautiful memory of their father for times just like these.
As I slowed down to a stroll at the end of my run and as I catch my breath, I again looked around me. The pale grass will soon turn to deep green and will start to grow (It’s not that I’m excited about growing grass for that means mowing the lawn!)…….the bare trees will soon show their blossoms and their leaves will reappear…….the shrubs will bounce back and will flourish once more……… the sleeping bulbs will sprout and their flowers will bloom……..and life will begin again…….for that’s the promise of spring.
I thank God for that promise.