December 2, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Posted in And I ran (I ran so far away), Heartbreak | 11 Comments

I’ve been decidedly lacking in the motivation for my running for the past few weeks.

Probably because I had hoped that I would have had to slow down a bit because I was pregnant.

And right now, every run I do reminds me I’m not, in fact, pregnant. Which isn’t really conducive to my Zen.

So I’ve been avoiding my runs.

But I got on a scale at my annual physical on Monday, and I saw a number that was way much closer to the old Serenity’s weight than it was to the weight I’ve been, comfortably, for almost the past year.

Emotional eating, with a side of Thanksgiving and a birthday dessert, anyone?

So this morning, I groaned my way out of bed for my 5am run.

It was actually really nice morning – the rains yesterday washed everything clean. The stars twinkled, and I could see the outline of the full moon in the sliver in the sky.

I’m out of practice at running slowly, so the first mile went by too fast, which meant I was tired at mile 2.

So I struggled with mile 2 and 3.

But then. At mile 3.5, when I turned east to go home, and I could see the sky lighting up behind the hill nearby…

One of my favorite David Wilcox songs came on to my iPod. And though I don’t often post lyrics… well, today?

This song GOT me.

There’s a river down by Ghost Ranch, New Mexico
Left by torrents that tore through here long ago
It carved out sculpture and left this show
When the canyon floor is dry

And there’s a river close to home that never seems to flow
Some part of me just couldn’t break the dam below
Just slow turning circles that won’t let go
Waiting just to fly

I can’t wait any longer
With these stones around my heart that keep me shy
So I pray this river stronger so I may before I die
Say goodbye and run like the river run dry

I want to sweat through every pore running faster when it’s hot
And catch up to who I can be and drop the things I’m not
And be sure by the end I gave it all I got
Pray to just hold on

So by the finish line I wouldn’t mind falling like the rain
Instead of saving it for someday, when someday never came
I want to open up early and push against the pain
Feel my heart beat strong

This will end, but while I’m living –
There are dreams within my heart I have to try
So I pray this river stronger so I may before I die
Say goodbye, and run like the river run dry.

In that moment, all the struggling I have been doing in the past few weeks melted away, and I was left with my grief.

Heartbreaking, burning, aching grief.

For my aunt, for the pregnancy that wasn’t, for the years of trying and failing at building our family, for my cousin Amy, for the things I should have said that never did, for my sister, my friends who struggle with trying for having a family.

But instead of running away from it, like I’ve been doing all week, I allowed myself to really FEEL it.

Maybe it was the endorphins from the run. Or the strength in my legs. Or that weird feeling of JOY I have when I sprint, where there’s nothing but power and movement and wind and happiness.

But in that moment, in my grief, even though my throat was closed and I had a hard time breathing, I felt ALIVE.

And thankful. To have known and loved my aunt and cousin, to be the mom of an amazing little boy, to learn unconditional love from my husband, to have the means to live and work and run and play.

For being alive.

And that tightness in my chest eased just a little this morning.

For today, I am thankful for David Wilcox and my morning run.



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  1. This is beautiful, Serenity. Thanks for allowing us to stand there with you.

  2. Wonderful.

  3. I’ve been avoiding running, too…for the same reasons. It reminds me too much of all that we have lost. But, finally, after 3+ weeks of not running, I decided to get out there for a 4-5 mile run. Man, it hurt.

    I’m glad your run allowed you some release. I’ve had those types of runs…tears streaming down my face…where the beating of my feet on the ground and the ache in my legs reminded me that I was alive and glad to be so.

  4. I’m so glad.

  5. Thanks for writing and sharing these, I don’t know what to call it, feelings of release? These words have touched my heart in ways I can’t describe.

  6. Like. Very much.

  7. Really happy to hear this. There have been many times when the mental benefit of a run has far outweighed the physical one for me. I hope the tightness continues to ease.

  8. oh girl…just keep running, you’ll get there. 🙂
    remember “if you’re going through hell…kee GOING”

    Love you lots!

  9. Love this. :o)

  10. you are so eloquent! beautifully said, perfect song, great attitude! You are the best

  11. Beautiful post. So glad.


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