Saturday, February 23, 2013


I ran on trails, on streets, on a red bridge, through a city I love. It was just last week. Only one day required long pants and a cap. The rest were all blue sky and wine dark sea. One moment I laughed out loud, when I found myself coming upon a field trip of 6 year olds, whose sly teacher coincidentally sent them all running up the path just as I came in among them, and there I was, surrounded by running children.

I ran alone. I ran with my daughter. I listened to fog horns that really had no purpose at all in the clear blue days. I found myself swooning with eucalyptus fumes. I passed a dog run most days, and those dogs were so happy.

Uncertainty closes in on me, in a profession that walks half blind through the haze of an unwell health care system. Grief encompasses me a I mourn 14 years, as of Feb 22, without my Pop. That's most of the lives of my 2 oldest children, and my youngest was not yet born. Grief threatens to swallow me whole as I mourn the loss of my cousin, who died this morning, wrapped in the love of her family.

I ran today, now back home, through the marsh, with my daughter. Tonight we will eat crab caught in local waters. Life keeps on, and there is something about it that demands joy. Tomorrow I will run long.

I am a scientist, but find it significant that my father and my cousin died so close to the same day. Years apart, of course. But they had something very much in common: joy. Each day my father, who had more than his fair share of suffering, greeted the morning with song. Literally. It was somewhat annoying as a teenager. And yet I also loved this about him. Each day, my cousin, who had more than her fair share of suffering, greeted her days with laughter. I cannot remember one moment of gloom when with her.

She thought I was goofy to run so much.
I told her how when I am running a really hard workout or race, she often comes to mind and inspires me to push through.

I give thanks for the breath of joy passed on to me from Pop and from Linita. I suppose they are cracking jokes together right now, somewhere in the after life.

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