Tuesday, November 3, 2009
The leaves are falling and my heart is singing
Zipping down the freeway on the way to our fantastic homeschool nature class at Bushy Hill in Ivoryton, CT last Friday I noticed that most of the leaves were down from the trees. I could once again see the bare tree skeletons, gray sticks against the gray sky, and I literally felt my heart lighten. I am a winter person through and through. The oppression of all that greenery through the summer weighs on me.
Oh, it weighs on me.
But driving last Friday, the heaviness lifted. It rose from my heart and was gone.
"Like you've been holding your breath for a really long time?" asked Nell.
By Halloween night, with it's spooky clouds and wind and almost full moon I was light as a feather and full of joy.
The kids had a blast trick-or-treating with their friends in the neighborhood.
And the next morning I met Susan and Grace at Bluff Point for a long trail run. We were scheduled to meet at 7 to allow for a bit of a post-Halloween sleep in. But with the time change during the night, I was rearin' to go at 6. So I ran a little extra hour by myself at the front end and took a few pictures in the early morning light.
Bluff Point is a lovely place to run. The main trail is a four mile loop on a wide, rolling fire road circling a little peninsula which used to be a seaside retreat. The Hurricane of 1938 (that date may be slightly wrong) blew down all the beach houses and rather than rebuild, the whole place was turned into a nature preserve. Over the past ten or fifteen years, mountain bikers have opened up lots of single track trails inside and around the main loop. If you run these trails and connect over to Haley Farm via the railroad track path, you can make an 8 to 10 mile loop. All good!
I circled back to the parking lot at 7 to meet Grace and Susan and Susan's dad, Gary, one of our life-giving pacers at the VT 100. I hadn't seen Gary since VT and I had not run with Grace in many moons, so it was wonderful to see them both.
Yes, Susan, always a pleasure to see you, too!
Gary ran the first loop with us then called it a morning because his calf was bugging him.
Susan and Grace.
The day was perfect. Cloudy, a little windy, with temps between 45 and 50. The leaves were a little wet and slippery, just enough to keep things interesting.
The three of us ran for 3 hours. We talked about our kids, food (Grace has gone vegan and I am dairy and red-meat free and feeling oh so much better, off all stomach meds, etc.), politics, sports, you name it.
Here is Grace taking off. Grace is really fast. She keeps it slow for Susan and me. Actually, Susan is pretty fast too. I'm not. And that's okay.
Susan and me at Haley Farm (an old working farm, now trails)
Susan has never been a huge fan of trail running. She turned her ankle a couple of years ago at the Northern Nipmuck Trail Race and has been sort of worried about such things ever since. She does not like to get lost. She has just always been a road runner. But this run converted her! She even enjoyed the single track. We had such a great time. No cars. Beautiful scenery. Good pace.
Susan is now a trail runner. I could not be happier! We are meeting up again this weekend to do it all over again. I have decided not to run the Stone Cat 50 on Saturday. My tendon issues are still not fully resolved and I do not relish the thought of another long lay-off. Tough decision made easier by the fact that Brian will tie me to a chair if I try to drive up to Ipswich Friday evening.
There she goes. Run, Susan. Run!!