Tuesday, October 25, 2011

october morning


I stand in the hallway, tugging the zipper on my fleece sweatshirt up to my chin. My hand rests on the doorknob. I contemplate the coming shock, the little skip in my chest that will transport me from the woodstove-warm house to the 23-degree six a.m. For a moment, I dare to imagine the coziness of my bed and my pillows, and I am tempted to turn back.

One, two, three. I twist the knob and pull the door open. The air pounds my cheeks like cold, clammy fists. I take in a gasp and feel it swirl into my lungs like ice water; it puffs back out in a misty cloud.


I step forward gingerly, feeling for the edge of the porch where the two steps lead down, and then move down the sidewalk and across the yard. I hear the light crunch of leaves beneath my feet; then the thicker sound of gravel takes over, and I know I’ve reached the parking lot.

A drapery of blue velvet, studded with diamonds, is buttoned across the sky by a crisp crescent moon. One of the diamonds streaks ever so briefly toward the brightening eastern horizon, and I rack my brain for a wish, but find that for once, on this clear, cold morning, I have none.


I reach down to touch my toes and relish the biting pain of the first stretch. I release the tension for a moment, then reach down again, slowly, and hold the position for ten seconds. One by one, I stretch my tendons, my calf muscles, my quadriceps; I walk a brisk circle and then parallel myself with the poplar tree at the head of the driveway.

I suck in another chilly breath. In half-sigh, half-prayer, I whisper, “Good morning, Lord.” And I spring forward into the rhythm of my footfalls.



  1. Love this post, Hallie. I admire your perstitance in sticking with running, even in the cold and dark!!!! :) It gets you some great pictures!!

  2. Fantastic photos! :) I hope that someday I can take good-enough pictures of the moon and stars like you can. :) Keep up the good work!



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