I feel like somesorta badass ballerina when I leap across puddles at the intersection of sidewalks and roads. Its extra awesome when there’s a car nearby; I can imagine that the passengers say to each other: “Holy shit did you see that runner leap across that HUGE puddle?” Actual size of puddle notwithstanding, I am impressed with myself.
I just want to go for a quick run; get it over with, no matter how much it hurts. But the snow, slush, water, and early darkness all slow me down. This makes everything less painful and allows me to run further than usual. I finish the run next to Starkweather Creek.
I hear a familiar sound. Who who who whoooo whooo. At first I think its just an illusion from the traffic on Atwood Avenue. But I hear it again. Who who who whooo whooo. I cross the street and creep along the eastern shore of the creek. I see the silhouette of a great horned owl dive onto the very top branch of an Olbrich Park tree. There’s no mistaking its size against the grey winter night sky.
We stare at each other for a while. Then it flaps its gigantic wings, the white underfeathers blending in with they sky, and it disappears behind the tree. At that moment, I feel connected to something larger than myself. I feel the rush of 4 miles of endorphins. Most of all, I feel thankful that the owl came to pay me a visit.