Stars, crickets, and frogs

Sometimes it’s the tiniest things that can set the world right.

I had a plan tonight. Was going to blow through Mystic on my way back from Newport and put in another half day’s work this evening, stopping to run at Bluff Point. Got held up in Newport for a little longer than planned. Called the wife; she mentioned that the plumber was coming tomorrow to hook up the dishwasher; well, provided the dishwasher was upstairs. Swung by the house, stopped for dinner, and my motivation for heading to Waterford vanished. Decided to take a rest day. Moved the washer back upstairs. Moved the stove to the front door, and was surprised when the neighbor and a friend of his asked if we needed help. The neighbor’s a good guy; it’s just we don’t talk much. I accepted. We got the stove into the living room (electrician isn’t due until Thursday). Showed him around; he was impressed with what we’ve done with the place. Blew off work, bathed the kids, teeth, stories, kisses.

I was taking the trash to the curb when my “Motivation” post really sunk in. Funny how the truth’s locked up in our subconscious. Funny how clearly we can hear the quiet, clear little voice. Even funnier (in the tragic, not the “ha ha” comic way) how frequently we don’t listen to the quiet, clear little voice. I imagine it sounds much like my wife…

It is about the fight. Am I Achilles, nursing petty grievances back among the long, black ships pulled up on the sand? Or am I Diomedes, with the grey veil of perception pulled back, seeing the world as it is? Pulled on my gleaming armour, or, in my case, a certain pair of shiny, blue shoes (and a spiffy, new reflective armband).

And easy as that, life was good.

There’s 2 or 3 streetlights burned out on the 2-lane just down the subdivision street from the house. So there’s about a half-mile stretch, through the woods, that now completely lacks light. Which makes it really, really dark. I ran down the middle of the street, ears tuned, knees bent to better make up for un-even pavement. Up and over the “wall”, the stretch of 30 degree climb just after the first mile. Felt good.

The run in the darkness kind of motivated me. So instead of turning around at about 2 miles, I figured I’d try to loop back to the house.I made a conscious decision to not let my legs run – they felt good and really wanted to keep going, down to River Road, but I had to stifle such talk in favor of execution.

At the top of the hill, about mile 4.5, I started walking. Not out of pain or shortness of breath, but out of a realization that I was a bit turned around, not quite sure where I was. Figured it out. Still walked the half-mile home (RICE, billy. RICE. What rest has your ankle gotten today?)

Took the detour through the forest from the old elementary school to my house. It was beautiful and peaceful there in the woods. But I’d forgotten the extent to which woods go pitch black at night. I navigated by shuffling – as soon as I felt duff underfoot, I adjusted back to the hardpacked trail. Made it down with just a flesh wound. Skipped the road back to the house.

Here’s to tomorrow.


Thanks, everyone, for the comments, thoughts, and encouragement after my rant yesterday. It’s appreciated.

The internet’s a funny beast. Shifts things from finely shaded to black and or white. I’ll admit, I’m struggling. And there wasn’t anything I said yesterday that I wasn’t feeling right then, at that moment.

What was completely not captured, though, was the love of the struggle. The joy in the fight.
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