Monday, September 21, 2009

Running on the Last Day of Summer

I woke up early with things on my mind, lay in bed thinking uselessly for a while, and finally got up at 5:15. It was time for a run!

A run - that is not a typo. Yes, I know it has been weeks or even a couple of months since I ran. And you know, it felt good! I ran about 2 miles, a half mile at a time, while walking in between for about five minutes, for a total of nearly four miles. Running felt really comfortable – other than when I nearly sprained an ankle stepping into a little drainage gully in the dark as a car came by - maybe I need to do this more often. I could have run more distance at a time even, but I know that after so much time sans running, I could easily overdo it. My legs have felt a little sore all day – just a touch – and I am really looking forward to water aerobics tonight.

The stars (and planets) this morning were incredible. A few parts of my route were in total darkness, and for those parts, the sky was just amazing. I could not quite see the Milky Way, but there were thousands of stars twinkling away. I know so few of the constellations. The Big Dipper, pointing to Polaris and the Little Dipper, was easy to find, as is Orion. Venus shown brightly like a beacon. But other than that, they were just stars. I need to set a goal of learning a few more of the stars and constellations.

A few hundred years ago, I bet people everywhere knew most of the constellations, how they should appear at different times of the year, and how to find a route at night using them. Certainly sailors did, and overland explorers. They could not comprehend the GPS that we have today. Their livelihoods, and their lives, depended on their knowledge. We consider ourselves so advanced today, but in many ways our ancestors were more knowledgeable than we are. Going to Henricus City yesterday was an interesting reminder of how much we take for granted in our modern lives – and how easy day to day life is compared to a few hundred years ago.

I cannot believe that summer is over. It has just flown by. As we get older, and we realize that the very finite number of summers (or falls, winters, or springs) that we have remaining in our lives has just gone down by one, we realize how so very quickly life goes by – even on days when we wake up a little too early mulling things over. So remember to live, and enjoy, each day.

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