It’s been one of those weeks. This time of year is hard for me for many reasons.
First off, Ohio is not pleasant this time of year. I’ll be honest, I don’t particularly care for the grey skies and the dropping temperatures. I guess I wouldn’t mind so much if there were some sunshine, but there usually isn’t. Not until March, typically.
It’s time to get my “happy lamp” out again so that seasonal affect disorder doesn’t make me a statistic.
Add to that the stresses of planning for the holidays. That’s usually good stress, but only if I stay ahead of the game a little, and get things done in a timely fashion.
However, there have been other events as of late that have brought me down a bit. It is usually this time of year when I take stock of the past few months and everything that has transpired.
There were goals, of course, that I set out to accomplish this year. In retrospect, I accomplished about 95% of what I had set out to do. I am quite happy with that, so I’m not complaining.
But, looking back, this is the time of year when I remember all of the people I have lost in my life.
As I ran this morning, it all kind of came to the forefront. Maybe it was because there were a couple of people who passed away this week that struck a chord. I guess I was feeling down in the dumps, and thinking about mortality.
So, I set out, on this gray day, into the woods. And I prayed. Running on the trails is my time to do my daily praying, or at least my morning prayers. They usually take anywhere from 20-30 minutes or so, as I try to take my time and get all of my intentions in.
Today, as I prayed for departed souls, I was thinking about family, friends, and public figures that have passed away. I stopped in my tracks. Looking around, all I saw where dormant trees that were bare of their beautiful, thick, green leaves. Brown leaves and mud littered the trail making the path itself hard to see. No one was out on this particular trail today but me, making it feel extra lonely. The entire time I was there, I only saw two deer, and that was it.
I began to feel a heavy weight pressing down on me; a feeling of sadness and loss. I had almost finished praying the chaplet that I was on, but I paused and allowed myself to experience this feeling of sorrow completely. I needed to recognize it and let it happen.
Suddenly, I heard it. The stream that runs close to the trail from time to time on various switchbacks. Running water. In the midst of sleep and death; a sign of life. A feeling of hope. Despite the aloneness, the stillness I saw around me, there was water running through the earth. Water that simbolizes new birth.
So, in the midst of what had quickly become sorrow and mourning, I found hope and inspiration.
I paused to smile, and I remembered that God is in control. I recalled all of the blessings that I have in this world. And, I remembered, that death is not the end; it is our transition to something better.
I finished my run with a new sense of calm. Despite the loss I had felt earlier, I also felt a sense of hope. Life is good, friends. Keep moving forward.
Run Happy, Run Long.
Amy is an ultramarathoner and triathlete, a mother of four, an Exercise Physiologist and a Physical Therapist. She lives with her husband, Dan (also an ultramarathoner and triathlete), and kids in Ohio.