Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Quiet Winter Night: Remind Me

When Wolf was at home and our family was at the peak of its unsettledness, I started running after a years-long hiatus. Working part time for a local social service agency and raising two children of vastly different ages and stages left me little free time during the day, so my running took place at night. In the winter.

With headlamp, flashing tail light, warm clothes, and spiked shoes I departed almost every night into the dark Alaskan evening to run the day's frustrations into the ground. This wasn't too difficult, the timing, I mean. I'm not a morning exerciser, just ask my high school swim coach who kept me on the team for about a day before realizing that a.m. is not my m.o.

When I was a kid in Washington and it snowed, we'd always take a walk at night to savor the differences made by a few inches of white precipitation, and I savored the quietness.

After Wolf departed for CHYC I made a point of allowing myself to exercise like regular people, during the daytime, now that I had the opportunity. But time, like so many things, seemed to grow shorter and shorter until last night, in the wake of packing and preparations for my departure today, I simply ran out of it.

With a few whispers of snowflakes in the air, I grabbed The Dog, found my headlamp, and left into the inky blackness that is an Alaskan Winter Night.

Everything seemed unique; the tangy scent of woodsmoke, the sound of cars muffled by snow, my own breath curling around my face as we jogged up, around, and across the neighborhood.
I had forgotten this and the feeling of utter contentment at seeing others living their lives; parents doing dinner dishes while looking over shoulders of teenagers working on homework, small children getting ready for bed, televisions turned to the evening news. All of it.

My own home looked particularly cozy, Yukon and Bear on the couch reading a story, artificial candles flickering in the windows and jazz music softly filtering down to Dog and I standing in the driveway.

Need that reminder once in a while...

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