Things are looking up in winterland

the fattest robin I've ever seen, reminding me to get my sorry self out on a run

Ah, it's been a good day. I have to admit I've had the late winter blahs lately so I'd just like to thank the universe for sending me a little hope today.

1. First, things are looking up in winterland. I'm hearing birds. The air has a little (I said little) balminess to it. Rains early in the week melted almost all of the snow. The sun turned up bright and early, sheepish and penitent like a truant 7th grader: Yeah, I know. I wasn't here. I tried but I couldn't make it. But at least I'm here now...right?

2. I went on a great run. {And let me start with a bit of truth and reconciliation: lately I haven't actually been running as much as I thought I would. I know, I did this whole listen world, I'm back running announcement. But after that I've been kind of like Fred Thompson's presidential campaign: all announcement and very little running. All the usual excuses--wintry weather, sick self & kids--amounted to maybe a run or two a week for the last month. You might say I'm a fair-weather runner. And you'd be right.} But this week I found a great 4-mile loop through town and farmland that completely makes my heart sing. And pump--although I'm still run/walking. And I found a cool site that lets you map out your route & find out the distance/calories/pace, etc. No more clocking it with the car--I love technology.

3. Then this morning I happened to be online at the same time as my brother Chris, half a world away in Mali. So we spent an hour and a half chatting via instant messaging. What a luxury--to just hang out virtually and have a conversation about everything and nothing. Love that boy. Man, really. I love technology, part 2.

4. Cleared out some flower beds and generally cleaned up the yard a bit. Just my little act of faith that there will eventually be flowers there.

5. Read a good book with the sun streaming through the windows & spilling over the pages. Let myself snooze for a few minutes.

6. Had this conversation with Lauren on the way to her flute lesson:

L: today we had a speaker in Health who has HIV/AIDS [many of our conversations these days revolve around what happened in Health class that day!]. Her life story was so sad! {She goes on to give me the details of her troubled life, including abuse, alcoholism, crime, prison and generally struggling to find her way. Very heartbreaking.}

A: I know, doesn't it seem like some people just have way too many helpings of grief? Like it's just not fair?

L: Yeah, in the middle I was so sad for her. I thought "she needs a hug." [this is a standard Lauren philosophy. She makes the world better through hugs.]

A: [half kidding] So did you give her one?

L: I did! At the end I went up and said "you need a hug" and gave her a big one. I think she was surprised. She whispered "thank you."

I think I'll keep her.