August 18, 2012

A Walk to the Mailbox

I see bubblegum pink out of the corner of my eye and turn to look. She is coming around the corner of her house wearing bubblegum pink pants with a white patterned hibiscus shirt, shadowed by more bubblegum pink. Her hair is as normal, with a few stray strands poking out her and there, as if a few rollers fell out before they should have. Today she carries an oversized light purple purse with a manila envelope peeking out; and as always her walker.

I have watched her many times. The first time I saw her she was struggling to pick up her walker and place it on the grass in front of her. She repeated this over and over until she got to the end of her yard and opened her mailbox.

Living on an island most people have to use the post office. Meaning we have to drive to get our mail. Elderly or disabled, or those who have someone managed to convenience the post office of a necessity; get to have their mail delivered. I was telling Mike the other day as we drove to the post office how I love getting the mail. He on the other hand has been to the post office more in the last six months than he had in the last three years.

The first time I saw her making her way to her mailbox, I wanted to stop and get her mail for her. It was painful to watch her pick up her walker, place it on the grass in front of her, scuff her feet up, and proceed to pick up her walker again and repeat this until she reached her destination. The thought came to me to organize a group of people to pay for and put it a walkway for her so she could just roll herself right out to get her mail.

My legs had no energy this morning as I ran. I could not even convince myself to push myself harder this morning. And then I spotted the bubblegum pink. A vision of struggle to complete an ordinary task made beautiful by her determination.

We never know what life will toss our way. We will face struggles and trials. We will find joy in unexpected places. We will experience pain that will never heal. We will see love in ways we never dreamed. Some days will be bad, some good, some great.

But we are gifted each day. Even if I have to pick up my own walker and plod my way to reach my destination, I will.

August 6, 2012

Running Thoughts

I signed up for a 5k on September 1 to motivate myself to start running again on a regular basis. It has been a little too easy for me to slip into the beach bum life. On my schedule this week was a 2 mile, 3 mile, and a 5 mile run, but we leave for a cruise on Wednesday. I originally planned to swap my 3 mile and 5 mile days since the thought of running 5 miles on the cruise track did not even pique my interest.
This morning Winston woke me up with is barking at 6:20. I was unable to fall back to sleep as my mind and heart were filled with thoughts of those I love. Those who have lost children, battling cancer, starting over, stuck in bad habits. I prayed for all of them...multiple times.
I was very sluggish this morning and did not run. Thinking it would be cooler to go in the evening I resigned myself to running later. I told Mike I was going to run 3-4 miles today, knowing that inside I really wanted to push for 5. Only the day kept getting hotter and hotter. Finally at 6, I decided to run.

After the first mile I hit the sand on the beach and the beauty of the ocean left me breathless. I can look at the ocean day after day and it leaves me speechless. There is a special power to the majestic mystery that it holds. Half way through my run I have the strongest urge to look back. I turn around and view the pier in the distance. Mindful of just how far I have come, but more aware of how far I have to go.

I can look back at my past and see how much I have grown. I have named my own faults and try to improve on them; I know just how strong I am, and just how weak I can be. I trust more, love more and share more. I am proud of who I am today. It took me a long time to be able to say that.

Yet, I know there is so much more ahead that will challenge, excite and stretch me to be more and more the me I am becoming. There is a list of things I want to experience, places I want to visit, and people I want to help. And whatever else God has in store for me.

As I exit the beach, I see a large lush and green garden just off the boardwalk. A man is weeding and I pause long enough to tell him just how beautiful his garden is. The tender care and attention he has given and continues to give to his garden has yielded something worthy of praise, and yet I bet he did not plant his garden with that intention.

I finish my run home smiling. Proud of myself for running 5 miles instead of taking the easy route and dropping down to 3. Thankful for the reminder of how far I have come, but with a renewed sense of excitement for focusing on what's ahead. And for the glimpse of beauty that reminds me to be humble.