Calm, Content, Relaxed


We layer sensibly. Wicking shirts hanging long over nylon tights. Hats and gloves. A gaiter for my neck—frigid air makes me hunch my shoulders, run stiffly. Today, the coldest day this year. But not uncomfortably so—in the twenties, not the teens. We slip into our running shells as we leave the house. Neon, both of them. Susan’s yellow, mine orange. Like a couple of highlighter markers, glowing bright under the winter sun. We bought these in 1995, fate and fortune keeping them in one piece all these years.

Walking now, the street beyond our house, coiled, like snakes or a spring. Loaded, anticipating, waiting for the other to run. Susan starts, I match her pace. Slow for me, relaxing. Silent, lost in thoughts of our own, yet probably the same. I worry: Eli, asleep in our bed with the flu. He’s never sick, not like this, until now.

We round a corner and find winter. A stiff wind cutting through our clothes, slowing our pace, leaving me thankful for that extra shirt and especially my gaiter. Wind chimes, high in a tree—the large ones from the garden store that always catch my eye, I’d like a set but can’t justify the expense—the wind chimes sing a low sloppy tune accompanied by the steady percussion of our matching footfalls. Bong, bong, pap, bong, pap, pap.

Topping Diamond Hill, we slow to a walk. An eight percent grade, thirty yards long. We’ve walked Diamond Hill since Susan’s hamstring pull. Safer, and not really cheating because it’s, well, downhill. Back to a run as the road levels out. Our walking conversation, the only words we’ve spoken since we started, ends. I listen for patterns and snippets of songs in our stride.

We pick up our speed for the final fifty yards—Susan a half step ahead of me, setting the pace—then glide to a walk at our driveway. A quick kiss and I step off for the rest of my run, feeling calm, content, more relaxed than I can remember.

~ ~ ~

My depression from the start of the week began lifting as I wrote about it on Wednesday. Three days later, it’s gone, largely due to the kind thoughts and wishes offered by you, the bloggers in my life. Thank you.

Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash

23 thoughts on “Calm, Content, Relaxed

  1. Gators?
    Looked up the word, only things that comes to mind are alligators, Gatorade and John Deere Gator vehicles. So not likely to be any of those. I’m assuming it’s a type of scarf? 😂
    Glad you’re feeling better.
    Went for a walk yesterday and enjoyed the summer breeze and cicadas and PokemonGo. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A perfect description of a winter run. The uneasy start – Am I dressed warmly enough? – then settling in, walking or talking where appropriate, falling into a beat and rhythm of breath and feet that has a healing power all its own.
    I miss running with a significant other. You’re lucky to have a partner who understands your running and shares its benefits with you.
    Glad you’re feeling better. This blogging community is the best, eh?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I guess “Tea with the demon (little ‘d’)” went well! I’m so glad to read that. I love the image of a couple of highlighters bopping along accompanied by a giant windchime😍
    I hope Eli feels better soon. Ben is rarely sick, but when he is, he’s SICK!
    Another post about winter weather shaming my pampered, whining about low 40s overnight, SoCal arse☹
    Stay warm🍵

    Liked by 1 person

    • Running with my wife is a very zen experience. First off, she veritably oozes namaste, and I don’t need to make a single decision while we run. It’s ‘her’ run–her pace, her route, and because she’s working hard, her choice if we talk, which is almost never. It’s meditation time. Especially when we run after dark and the only thing to look at is the swinging flashlight beam.


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