Portland has looked a bit like an ice planet recently, and Saturday brought a brilliant sunrise as a result. My intent is always to sleep in, but my internal clock usually has a mind of its own, and roused me to see it. Bleary-eyed and a bit resentful at the notion of being awake before 7 on the weekend, it all disappeared with a glance out the window. What followed this epic winter dawn was a sunny, if frigid, morning. Shoes were thrown on, and I was out the door. I went out with no plans, no route in mind, just my warmest gear and my dog.
Savoring my Saturday run- no time limits, no boundaries, just exploring. And when the sun happens to shine, it usually ends up being cause for a whole lot of exploring. It was one of those spectacular transition times when you can see the warmth coming- watch as the sun sets the tickled-white tree branches steaming in its rays. Between the foggy patches of our breath and the frosted patterns on the sidewalks, we are kids (and puppies) again, and nothing matters but the next 60 seconds. Hopping hesitantly over slick trails of dew and sprinting out of cold patches of shade and back out into the light, its joy like nothing else. Sweaty, beaming freedom and breathless joy.
I sprinted down into, and up out of, a frost-covered creek valley leaving the first footprints through the trail. On these occasions, I think its proper to look back and scrutinize your handiwork. I may have also thrown a rock at a frozen pond, kicked around some icy pinecones, had my tower buzzed by some very rambunctious geese, and remembered what its like to love the winter.
With a squint and not too much practicality, the park looks a little bit like Hoth, and when your dog already sounds like a Tauntaun a lot of the time, its easy to imagine you’re far, far away.
It doesn’t matter what the question is, running (and just a little bit of Star Wars) is usually at least part of the answer.