Every morning this week has been cold and gray, except for glorious Monday. Glorious Monday is sometimes at the top of my list of oxymorons. Normally, Mondays are my laundry days, my get-a-jump-on-school-for-the-week-days, my days when my expecations for myself are way too high to meet. Mondays are also my new "start the week right" day, and for three weeks now -- it takes 21 days for something good to become a habit! -- I have woke up before everyone else, tied on my battered running shoes, turned up my favorite workout music a little too loud, and made time for running that I thought I didn't have.
This was my best Monday morning run yet. I covered less than two miles, but I had the same euphoric feeling as if I had run eight, and I was fast. But the good feeling didn't come from me or my running ability. It came from the gifts I opened on my run. I ran past a father running his little girl down their long driveway to hop on the bus, and I felt *truly grateful* to be able to homeschool my two sons. I ran past a neighbor who smiled warmly and waved to me as he was driving, and I felt *truly grateful* I am that he survived cancer. I ran past the last brilliant red leaves of sumac hanging delicately onto their branches, and I felt *truly grateful* to be able to see those deep colors in nature's palette and experience each season of the year in its Minnesotan extremes. I ran east just in time to see the sun rise, which seemed to happen in an instant, and I felt *truly grateful* for one more day in this challenging, beautiful world, a day that would be as unique as each new sunrise. I ran home, seeing the white of my breath and feeling the sweat on my skin, and I felt *truly grateful* to be so alive.
I had my moment of summer before the real day even began.