Misty Morning Magic

It was more of a fog than a mist, but the alliteration didn’t work.

Exercising before work has been a habit of mine for several years. When everything changed in response to the pandemic, I felt fortunate to have a safe, paved place to run in our neighborhood. With less than twenty homes around the mile and a half loop, traffic is rare. Filled with pine trees, the subdivision is pleasant escape from the flat farmland surrounding it. The road connecting our subdivision to the outside world is a two-lane, state highway with minimal shoulder. I find it difficult to relax while running, or riding my bike on this highway.

Do you continue or turn back when the path is not clear?

After a couple weeks of running this same loop, I started venturing out to other locales. I’ve chosen mostly familiar locations, safe for an early morning run. As the temperatures rose, I pulled my bike off the trainer and rode outside a few times. I welcomed the variety.

Seeking clarity amid the obscurity

A particularly stressful week at work included a couple early mornings that intruded on my exercise routine. That combination is not great for me as a nice, long run or bike ride help me relax, focus and put things into perspective. Friday’s weather forecast was for a cool, foggy start to the day. In need of a nice, long run, I drove to Sikeston with a couple familiar routes in mind.

Heavy fog?

Reduced visibility made the sports complex and surrounding park seem like a good choice. It was a little later than I had hoped and the eastern sky was getting brighter as sunrise approached. I chose to run the cart path of a former golf course which has been reclaimed as a part of the park’s trail system. The morning made me grateful for easy access to a camera as running soon became secondary to capturing some of the beauty of the morning.

Time for reflection

Realizing that pictures are rarely as stunning as the live experience, I took a few pictures and then continued running. Each time I would put away my phone and hit the trail, something interesting would capture my attention. It was like God was opening my eyes in spite of the fog obscuring my vision. There were moments of deep reflection and other moments of sheer gratitude.

This is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

I didn’t get the long run I had anticipated. But I felt like I got much more out of the time spent seeing things in a new light.

8 comments

  1. It was invigorating. When I put my camera away for the last time I ran with a joy for the experience rather than a duty to complete. The smells, I don’t recall. The loop around my house is more aromatic. Thousands of pine tree provide a consistent scent, except when there is a strong south wind. Then the smell of the cattle farm across the highway is too strong for even the acres of natural air freshener.

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  2. Thanks Des. Sometimes I get frustrated when things don’t go as planned. Other times I’m quite content going with the flow. This was one of those go with the flow days that worked out well.

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  3. I think we’re very fortunate to have that place. I think it’s a great asset to our parks and City, and tell our city officials that every chance I get. I love taking the family out there for bike rides or easy hikes.

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    • I was a little skeptical when it was initially purchased (plus sad to see the golf course close), but it really is a great extension of the sports complex. Amazing that the distance around the whole thing, staying to the right, is an almost perfect 5K! I hope you and your family are doing well.

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  4. It was foggy Friday morning where we live too. Or was that Thursday? All the days seem to run together now. I’m glad you found a safe place to run. To get from our house to the neighborhood down below us and then into town, I have to run on a road like the one you described. The traffic and lack of shoulder make me a little leery of running on it at certain times. I would never run there if it was foggy. Aren’t runs the best time for reflection?

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  5. i seem to get clarity and perspective while running. Sometimes I think of the best ideas about halfway into the run and then totally forget them by the time I finish. I’ve finally got to the place where the idea is more important than the run, I’ll write a memo on my phone. I don’t wear glasses when I run so that can be a bit of a challenge. I do love starting the day with a run or a ride. I may have to find a lake to swim in if the pools don’t open soon.

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