A September of Second Winds

Last post I indulged in a little good old-fashioned whining. I was burnt out. I needed some renewal, but I was unsure when or how it was to come.
Yesterday early-evening, I tucked Jason into the couch to enjoy the Panthers game while Mr Baby crawled all over him, and I slipped out the front door to squeeze in a quick run for the day. The plan was just to stay in the neighborhood, and as I was worn out and had been putting off the run all day, I wasn’t sure how long or far I’d go. Besides, my iPhone was drownded last week in an absurdly bad-luck-moment (ask my witness, Camille!) [I narrowly saved it from a puddle of rainwater next to my car as I tried to wrestle my toddler into his Britax, only to flick it neatly into a half-empty glass of water in the driver’s seat cupholder. I am not making this up]. Anyways, I still am phone-pending, and so my normal habit of listening to a Fresh Air podcast or Pandora or anything at all to distract me while I run, is unavailable. So yesterday evening, I just clasped my husband’s Timex Ironman around my wrist, and resolved somewhat gloomily to go for at least 30 minutes. 
The shadows were stretching slowly over my little neighborhood. Dead leaves were blown gently around me in the quiet breeze. Families were throwing little cookout football parties, chatting eagerly in the front yards about “Auburn this” and “Carolina that”. Little boys throwing a nerf football (is that still what they’re called?) across a quiet street stepped aside to let me run past. The smells of red-blooded American hamburgers wafted out of shady backyards. 
There was not a drop of humidity in the air.
I felt only cool, dry, Autumn winds in my face as I ran. I relaxed completely, focusing only on the even, light tread of my feet on the pavement, the leaves blowing overhead, the sun setting through the dusky green and brown backyards. 
I ran for at least 9 miles, over an hour and a half. 
I have never run that far without stopping or dragging. I could’ve run farther but the light was fading and I knew Jason would be worried since he couldn’t call me to come home. 
Not only did I receive a second-wind of physical energy and strength during that long run, I received a second wind of love for running. Excitement for the new season that I think I can safely welcome now with open arms… a season of squash and pumpkin, butter and cinnamon, football and chili, hot tea and lattes, scarves and little-gentleman-sweaters, boots and yes, long, exciting, non-humid runs.
 Joy in the little things. Peace that passes understanding. Perseverance rewarded.
I think we all run into ruts now and then. Sometimes, its our fault, and we need to stop everything we’re doing, re-examine our lives, and start fresh. But sometimes, its just the road we’re on in life… and we have to be patient, persevere, pray, and press on. ( P-p-p-p. Lol)
Had I given in to the rut I was in yesterday, had I stayed inside and laid exhausted on the couch, I would never have experienced the high of that perfectly beautiful sunset run. I would never have had the exhilaration and renewing burst of surprised joy upon running farther than I have had before. As it says in the Psalms, my spirit was renewed. Nothing compares to that deep, inner renewal. Nothing lesser can imitate it. It was worth the wait.
I came home to the lamps lit, their warmth streaming through the open front door… my Mr Baby was waiting with his small, serious face pressed against the glass door, watching the road for the first sign of my arrival. He hopped up and down when I waved to him, banging excitedly and beeping (he’d rather beep than talk, apparently). Last fall, he had just begun crawling. We were feeding him rice cereal and planning to dress him up as a tiny button-nosed pumpkin for his first Halloween. We were househunting, and the first time we drove through this quiet, sleepy little neighborhood, we knew we’d found our home.
I’m so grateful for the second wind. I’m so excited for Will’s second Fall. Something tells me this is going to be a beautiful season.

[another one of Jason’s pictures. Isn’t he talented?]

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