I did take a break from thinking of /talking about/looking at our new bike to put in a couple of miles last weekend. Actually, it was 9 miles. I hadn’t set out to do that many. I was hoping for 6 and was prepared to be happy with that – even though I generally like to sneak in a mile or two more on Saturdays.

But as I was approaching the last quarter of my figure-8 of the park, I got a phone call saying a friend was interested in running with me, and could I come meet her at the picnic house? I was there as fast as my legs could carry me and the two of us set off for another loop around the park.photo

I would say something about how great it felt to run those last 3 1/2 miles, but to say that would be untrue. I’m sure it did feel great, but I didn’t really notice. Those miles were silent and invisible because I was so lost in conversation, so deep into listening, that I didn’t even think about speed or pace or the ground or my legs or the trees or birds or people. My body was on autopilot while my mind and mouth were doing all the work.

My friend and I had a lot of catching up to do, a lot of commiserating and wondering and bouncing ideas off of each other to hear how they sound when they come back to our own ears. She’s a veteran of the school system that I’m about to become a part of. We’re both mothers of “many” (she has 4 kids), navigating the city while people look on in wonder or disbelief (I’m not always sure which). And we are – as everyone is, I’m sure – constantly staring down the future to try to see if it’ll blink, or give away some clue as to what the next few months or years will hold.

And having done that, having emptied my brain and relived my most recent traumas, having pondered on some of life’s imponderables and tried to answer some unanswerable questions, my body may have been a little tired, but my mind felt more alive and free.

I love those miles. I love those runs. I love those friends.

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