Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Run Before the Snow

This morning, I waited for the snow.  Yesterday, Sherry and I heard a National Weather Service emergency broadcast announcement around one in the afternoon that advised everyone to only travel in the case of an emergency.  Despite that, the schools that are relevant in my family didn't announce that they would be closed until after 5 AM.  So it goes.  But in the meantime, I did work. Then, I worked to make some bagel dough (bacon gouda bagels) before I went running.  I ran at 6:40 and got a total of 7.1 miles.  Just wandering-that was good.  In real life, I ran across Lake, down Bellona, down Springlake, across northern, up Charles, on Charlesmeade, Gittings, Bellona again, Stevenson, Sherwood, Overbrook, Holly, Weidner, Hollen, Yorkshire, Cedarcroft, Northwood, Woodson, Cedarcroft, and home again.  None of the miles were at a sub-8 pace and that was good.  It was an easy day.  Second day with new running shoes.  Total of 21.9 miles in the new shoes.  In my virtual world, I have run a total of 132.4 miles for the year.  That is about 44 miles per week.  The 7.1 miles took me past another cross over with the Pennsylvania turnpike, virtually past the Shawnee State Park, and through a little town called Schellsburg.  Not much else to report. 

A few other interesting thoughts.  First, the sunrise was beautiful.  While I had my phone with me and would have loved to take a picture, there was no where to stop with a good view of the horizon.  The sky was a lavender-red.  And the pinks on the undersides of the clouds were wonderful.  Wish I could share it, but perhaps that is just one of the joys that only comes to people who get up eralery.  

There is a woman who wanders York Rd and Northern Parkway regularly.  I often see her when driving kids to school.  I sometimes see her when I run.  I don't often say hello to her.  One of the first times I saw her was sleeping on the bus bench across the street from our church.  The one time I had said hello to her before, she sort of glared at me.  This morning, I chose to say hello to be consistent with what Back on My Feet always suggests about the importance of reaching out to others and after running with Back on My Feet yesterday for the first time in a while.  She actually smiled.  I don't know whether I made her day any better, but it felt like I may have.  I think again of Fr. Sam saying, "We Sing Anyway."  I experience joy. I try to bring joy to others.  And I do so regardless of the odds that it will make a difference.  I didn't know.  I tried.  I think it was better.

When I got home from running, we finished making the bagels. Not perfect as my sons had made them too big, but they tasted good.  After that, I took my middle son to the grocery store to get a few things we really could not do without for the day.  I love using the self-check out feature and we were in and out quickly enough (after leaving our house around 8:30) for me to be home by 9 for my first work call of the day.  What was interesting was that my son brought up the fact that yesterday was the Feast of St. Sebastian.  I had overlooked that in my writing about other stuff.  My son mentioned that he and my older one had thought about getting a cake and some icing to decorate with a reference to St. Sebastian but did not have a car to use.

The last two years I have thought quite a bit about the tattoo.  Planning in 2012.  Just finished in 2013.  So, what does St. Sebastian mean this year.  In his "double martyrdom" I'm not sure if he was singing.  I don't know what types of hymns they had in the third century after Jesus's life.  But he was shot by archers and kept right on going.  He "sang anyway".  What a symbol to be reminded of by my son on a day I acted out the "sang anyway" in a gesture toward another human being during my run.       
Final observations from mass yesterday.  When Fr. Sam talked about being peculiar or crazy, he specifically mentioned that the "other half" of the people who normally attend the 5:30 mass were probably home watching the football game.  It was unfortunate for so many to be away on a Sunday when being together as a community was so important.

Fr. Sam also talked about Martin Luther King's speech in Memphis about going to the mountaintop but not necessarily reaching the promised land.  Another part of the "sing anyway" theme.  And important to recognize that there are so many ways to keep singing.  He mentioned that many people who bring messages of hope are eventually "taken out" by someone who feels threatened by the hope they bring.  He commented on the concern that someone may want to take out Pope Francis given his message of hope.

I'm not sure what I think about the sentiment that everyone who tries to bring hope gets taken out.  But it is food for thought.

Do I help to bring hope?  I sure hope so.  But I write for my own purposes and just believe that others will find hope in what I write.  In how I act.  In how I see life.  In how I approach life.  And that they will join me in that hope.  

Running before the snow was hope.  Life is hope for me.  I hope that life is hope for many others.   

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