Accidentally Running in Winter

The bright sun beckoned me. It ricocheted off the mounds of snow, lighting up the view outside my window. “Come,” it said. I returned to my cup of tea and thick novel. The light outside the window brightened even more as I rose to put my teacup in the sink a few minutes later. “Come outside. Delight in my winter rays,” the sun called again.

I put on my exercise clothes. I grabbed an old pair of sunglasses before bundling up to go outdoors. The air was crisp. I set off walking, feeling the itch to move at a faster pace, but many neighbors had not maintained their walkways. I soon arrived at the corner with the traffic light. I had not taken this path on foot since last November. On the other side of the four lane traffic, the noise stilled.  Trees now looked naked and lonely without their fiery autumn leaves. Two small, unattended dogs ran toward me, barking, excited, protective. I wanted to run away from their leaping and yapping, but the sidewalk looked dangerous. This was the route I used to run on before the weather turned bad. I walked as briskly as I could, heading toward the park. Could it be possible the path was safe?

As I got closer, I saw a strip of sidewalk, freshly salted, snow melted. It was wide open. I pushed off with my right foot, then followed with my left, my legs higher off the ground, stretched out, lengthening. I zipped my hood up all the way to my mouth and breathed in the warm air I exhaled. Happiness endorphins swirled around my body.

The park loomed in the distance. I turned into the gate, noticing the snow-covered  path. I accelerated slowly, testing my footing and the compact and even ground. I settled into a slow pace, faster than a walk, but not my regular pace. The snow crunched underfoot. My jacket made swishing sounds. The park was quiet except for a few sounds of pets and people and birds.  I was warm enough and I was running. Running in winter. My legs carried me around the big circle as I passed by barely discernible park benches, their backs peeking out from the snow. I didn’t have to squint as I propelled myself through the path. Families were sledding down a small hill. I started to go through my schedule for the rest of the day but stopped. I was running. It was my time.

I saw the gate. I paused, knowing I didn’t have time to make one more lap. I would have though. I unzipped the vents in my coat and slowed to a walk. Cars whizzed by me as I walked back home, their loudness abrasive to my former tranquil state. While taking off my shoes I wondered when the sun would come calling me again.

Baby It’s Cold Outside

IMAG0256When I was a little girl, I sat on the floor in front of our couch and watched someone (my Grandma or Aunt or Mom) turn a red ball of yarn into a growing chain of loops, connected together over and over. I watched a  shiny piece of aluminum dart around in her hand, flashing and working wonders with the loops. Then to my amazement, she taught me how to make a chain stitch. She taught me how to crochet.

A few years ago, the urge hit me to relearn this craft that I had not practiced since my childhood. I needed an outlet that didn’t require me to leave my home.  I remembered the basic chain, but not much more. I tried to invent my own stitches, but didn’t get it right.

Since then I have picked up a book and learned  the types of stitches I didn’t remember from long ago. It is pretty exciting to turn a ball of yarn into something.  I Have mostly made small things for the dolls my daughter plays with. She is always amazed at what I create and begs me to show her how.

The other weekend I decided to create something bigger than what a doll would wear and a bit more practical.My daughter loves her new scarf. What do you think?