Sunday, February 15, 2015

More Winter Running

It has been cold lately. Real cold. But also beautiful. Nature discloses her secrets when she's living on the margins. Those brave enough to accept her non-negotiable terms, get to share in the experiences first hand.

Coming back from a run one evening last week I looked up at the sky and it's a palate of pink hues wrapping underneath billowy gray/ purple clouds that stretch deep across the Western sky. I can see my breath streaming out of my mouth in puffy, wispy like white bursts. I breathed out a few times more times in exaggerated bigger breaths just to watch it.

It was dark Wednesday night when I went out so I decided just to run some laps around the Carolina Beach Lake... on the grass beside the cement walking path. Broken twice per loop by the wooden bridges that go over the small spillways. I like to look at the reflections of the faint nearby lights in the water as I cross. It's my favorite part of the run.

A solitary great blue heron stood alert at the water's edge every time I passed by. An elegant, stately creature. It puffed its body up beneath its wings as I approached... but it never took flight. I wondered how cold the water was.

Friday evening and I put on a heavy hooded sweatshirt to run (normally I layer with long sleeve T-shirts). I passed the same two women walking dogs twice on the Carolina Beach State Park trails as daylight waned. One asked me if I made it up Sugar Loaf Hill. I told her yes, and that it is a good workout.

Set my alarm early Saturday morning and headed out to the North End of Pleasure Island... all the way out the two mile stretch of sand on the narrow strip of land buffeted on the backside by one continuous dune. The ocean's waves rolled in a static rhythm... the sun as it slowly climbed up all magnificent in the Eastern horizon, cast shimmering flecks of light which danced atop the unfurling waters.

I ran all the way to the northern tip where a small bay forms between the land I was on and the next small barrier island. Here the waters are more still, and a few small stream like channels form in the sand which creates a marsh like landscape. A large flock of seagulls have gathered... I say good morning to a few of them as I run by.

We are blessed to be spending a chilly morning in paradise.