At the end of the day, I like to run. I don’t run to stay in shape or even to fulfill my human need to keep my heart healthy. I run to blank-out. We’ll call it mental preservation. I feel it’s the only time of the day I can just turn off my lists and my thoughts, put on some good music and run until I get exhausted or too cold. Sometimes that may only take 20 minutes and other times it’s an hour before I look at my watch.
This past week has been bone chillingly cold, and I’ve had to fight the elements as well as the knowledge that my time on the pavement will be cut off soon. Winters here have been hard on me the past four years. I’m a city girl. What do I know about Midwest winters? I know I’m grumpy because the sky is always gray. The wind is constantly crushing my spirit due to the unyielding openness of farm fields. No amount of winter clothing will block the wind on a bad day, and I feel like I’m the only one around who has to wear two pairs of leggings under my clothes to stop constantly shivering. I’m weak! I grew up on the Mediterranean coast! I like flip flops!
But you all know me. I can put a positive spin on anything, right? I wanted to. I really wanted to. But the ONE incredible thing about living out here in the middle of nowhere has always been the stars. There aren’t too many lights to dull the glow of the stary sky. I like to run just as the sun drops, up the highway by my house, because it sits at the top of a hill between multiple vast corn fields and the view is breathtaking. I run for that! But this week the clouds were out. Thick. No stars for miles. With my hair whipping me in my eyeballs from 30 mph winds, I wouldn’t have been able to see them anyway. I haven’t seen a star in four days, and it’s kind of killing me softly.
Tonight, I needed to paint the sky I love so much, so I did. I can’t change mother nature’s plans, but I can always make my own. Channelling energy. I’m big on that.
I think I was able to get the blank-out I needed with the dull hum of violin infused techno in the background. Health benefits… -1 as I grabbed a beer. Mental preservation…+1. It worked.
And just as I was finishing up with my painting, it began to snow. The first snow of the season. As I looked at the white canvas blanketing the ground I remembered…it’s not so bad here in the winter.
Cheers! Have a safe and happy weekend if you are in the storm with me. If not, don’t rub in that sunshine too much.