Friday, January 15, 2016

Joie de Vivre

Sometimes, getting caught up in life, you don't realize how good life is.
I've become one of those persons who is anticipating my future -- a move to France.
But I hadn't realized how much I'm enjoying my life in our small city on the edge of downtown Columbus until I talked with someone who is not happy.
Of course, I meet plenty of people who spend time complaining, don't we all, including me.
On Tuesday, the snow started to fall in the morning. Lying in bed, I asked my husband to look out the window to see if the streets were slippery. He said the streets were still black, so I dressed and went out on a run.
The snow aimed for my face, except when I ran east, but I couldn't simply run east, so I blinked my eyes and swiped the wetness off my face. My miles were slow because the snow covered the street and I ran carefully not to slip. I skirted past kids with heavy backpacks on their way to school. I waved to the crossing guard waiting to usher kids across the street. I stopped under the awning of the library to text Sheila and see if we planned to walk that morning. Then I took a selfie to show the snow.
And I smiled.

Running in the snow if such a freeing feeling. And maybe that's because I didn't have to go to work. I had the entire day to curl up in front of the fireplace and write or bake some blueberry muffins or watch House Hunters.
When I returned home, I pulled out a big broom to sweep the inch of dry, powdery snow from the sidewalk. I glanced at the untouched snow in the yard, and I knew I had to make a snow angel. So I stood with my back to the virgin white powder, and I cautiously fell backward. I waved my arms and legs in the snow, immediately feeling the wetness through my cotton pants.

Next came the tricky part. I had to get up without ruining the lines of the snow angel. With difficulty, I got to my feet and started to stand so I could step away.
That's when my neighbor called out.
"Are you okay?"
I laughed. "Yes, I'm just making a snow angel."
She'd been afraid that I'd fallen in the snow. I guess I was lucky she didn't call an ambulance to hoist me up.
I told that story on Wednesday night out with writing friends. One of my friends, Erin, who just turned 40, but seems much younger, looked puzzled.
"I guess I've never felt the spontaneous joy to make a snow angel," she said.
That's when I was jolted into my reality. I'm pretty happy. Running is a big part of that happiness.
It let's me release stress and fills my bloodstream with endorphins, no matter what the day holds.
This morning, after a 5-mile run, I paused to wonder at the sun rise, a flush of pink behind the city skyline. Sometimes I take a picture of the amazing things I see; others, I remind myself to live in the moment. The vision in my head is enough without pulling out the cell phone.
Even though I'm looking forward to the next part of my life in May 2017 when we move to France, I'm enjoying this one too.

2 comments:

Sim Carter said...

I love this post! Your words made me cry for happy. At first, when I read that Earl said the streets were still black, like your neighbor, I was worried about you. I was filled with fear that you were going to slip and fall but that’s due to my own history of falling. I don’t even go for my walk when the streets are wet with rain! But reading on I could hear the laughter and joy in your voice as you made your journey and finally fell gently to make your snow angel. Which I haven’t had the opportunity to make, let alone be inspired to make, since I was a child living in Canada. It was lovely being there with you on your snowy morning and hearing how happy you are. Often I find myself singing along to my playlist when I’m walking so I guess I’m happy too!

By the way, speaking of my history of falling, I wrote about it a bit a few months ago. You might get a kick out of it: http://bit.ly/1IHW8K9

grammajudyb said...

Thanks for the lovely post. You indeed are enjoying your life. I am a bit more like Sim above, I don't venture out to walk let alone run in the snow. I am terrified of falling! That said, this morning I did step out onto my front porch and take a picture of the newly fallen snow. The air was crisp and not that cold. No wind this morning, which is rare in Wyoming. It was beautiful and I felt myself smiling. Maybe your friend will think another time and make a snow angel just for the joy of it! I hope so!

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