Do you have any spare change?
Sometimes I wonder if I will ever get accustomed to the idea that I get to live in a house on a lake. Last night I sat on the back porch as the last of daylight faded and watched drizzly rain fall over the lake, considering the constant changes of nature. Water seems a living thing, an entity with definite moods and temperaments; grey then blue then nearly clear; smooth, then rippled, then whitecapped; moving toward me and then away.
Most of the trees are bare right now and their limbs are beautiful art, twisted and gnarled like my farmer grandfather’s hands were, telling stories of thwarted growth abruptly turning the limb the other direction, knotted and bent. Skinny crepe myrtles with peeling bark and thin straight limbs make me think of a gangly teenager growing tall quicker than they can keep up with.
Watching nature’s seasons I find myself wondering why I continue to expect that I shall not – or should not – have seasons in my life also. Constant change is evident all around us and yet we think somehow we will be the same, do the same, accomplish the same today and tomorrow and next year. And when that doesn’t happen, as it never does, we get upset. We try to change the change. The trees don’t try to change what is barring that limb from growing in that direction, the limb changes its direction. And when I see that limb I think it’s beautiful. The tall straight skinny limbs just look young and awkward to me.
This morning weather.com told me it was going to be about 47 degrees and there was a icon of a large bright yellow sun with little rays coming out of it next to the 47.
Thus I assumed it was going to be about 47 degrees and the sky would sport a large bright yellow sun with little rays coming out of it.
Thus I also assumed that a singlet with a L/S lightweight tech shirt and shorts would be fine to wear. I also assumed I didn’t need gloves, and while we’re at it I assumed since there has been water and Gatorade on the course before (provided to me at no effort on my part by nice runners who buy the water and Gatorade and cups and leave it at intervals) that the same thing would happen again (because of course it shouldn’t change) and – thus – I additionally assumed I could leave my fuel of choice behind in the car.
So it happens then that I find myself at mile .67 with a co-runner who is wondering aloud, since we’re running a different course than usual, will there still be water and Gatorade on the course. I look at my empty hands and panic. NO WATER. NO GATORADE. I HAVE13 MILES TO GO. WHAT DO I DO NOW?
Trying to ignore the panicked little brain cell which is screaming loudly in my head I twitch nervously and mention several times to co-runners that I have no water and no fuel. Apparently I believe they are both blind and deaf and continue to repeat myself.
The fates having pity on my running partners, a front runner returns to report that there is, indeed, fuel on the course.
Damn good thing I spent some time in a fit over that or fate might not have figured things out and fixed it for me.
Around mile 5 I realize I’d probably have to run 31 miles before I’d dehydrate anyway, because I gotta go. Informed that the bathroom at mile 7 is usually unlocked I spend the next two miles fretting about where I’m gonna go if it’s locked. Why, yes, there is a forest of trees right next to the (possibly) locked bathroom but now I need to figure out exactly which tree I would use – made more difficult by the fact that I’m still a mile away from the trees and cannot see them to know which tree would work.
Spending those two miles feverishly planning my locked – unlocked – tree – locked -unlocked – tree options apparently changed fate because the bathroom was, indeed, unlocked.
Turning back toward home we head into the wind. The greatly anticipated and attired-for warmth of a sunny day has died a lingering and sorrowful death and I repeatedly mention to my blind and deaf running partners that it’s cold and there’s a wind and I didn’t bring gloves as I hold out my bare hands to their blind eyes as proof.
Fate had apparently tired of my incessant whining and desiring of things being fixed to meet my (supposed) needs and did not turn off the wind and turn on the sun.
At mile 9 my right hip and calf begin vague crampings. Since the day has been nothing but disappointment, fear and worry, I’m pretty sure by now that I have Butt Falling Off Syndrome and this will probably be the last run I ever have and how would I handle it if I couldn’t run because I intend to run until I die and I’m not planning death today and also if I do have Butt Falling Off Syndrome and my butt falls off I won’t be able to sit down ever again, I would just tip over.
This is most definitely not the run I had planned and visualized. This needs to change and it needs to change now. I need my butt to quit hurting and I need the sun to come out and I need the wind to stop and I need –
– and suddenly I realize I need to do the same every other created thing except man does: adapt. Change myself to fit the day before me and quit looking at what the world needs to change to meet my expectations.