Vermont worthy…an early morning run is not for the faint of heart!

The decision to brave the elements for a run this time of year may appear a bit odd, but it is in fact exhilarating. I actually prefer running in the cold to the humidity summer heat brings. Crazy, maybe but I have many devoted running friends that understand this endorphin chase. If ever there was a time, we need the endorphin advantage it is now. There is a rhythm with running just like each socially distanced day.

A dusting of snow unceremoniously fell overnight as temperatures plummeted. I welcomed the shock of cold on my face as I exited my side garage door somewhere around 7 a.m. for my run this morning. I cherish anything that feels exactly as it should these days. Identifying and wondering about the many animal prints I see as I make my way down my drive to the road. Fox? An elusive bobcat possibly? Deer tracks are distinctively familiar. My running shoe footprints feel like the odd species out and an intrusion of sorts. Busy nocturnal traffic decorates the driveway making me wonder if their paths actually cross as they appear to do? Proof positive of what I imagine happens in the darkest hours while I am warm and cozy in my little yellow house on the hill.

Running on my familiar street with uncertain footing made it feel new if not adventurous. The sun is bright and a promise of a nor’easter for New England later this week feels exciting. Nothing like a good snowstorm. We are always home right now so a tangible reason for doing so feels better. Vermont will not benefit as much from the nor’easter as the states just to our south, but flakes will fly. Single digits and a slight headwind greet me as I begin to make my way running north this morning. The first mile is up. Seeking out the gravel just to the left of the pavement for safer footing keeps my pace easy during my warm-up. The gravel road just a half mile from my home is trickier running than I had hoped. While my focus shifted to staying vertical, I could not deny the beautiful Vermont landscape and settled in to enjoy the ride.

 The farmhouse across the street which under renovation boasts a strong outdoor burn near the area of the fallen barn. Not sure what they are clearing but for two days a white cloud of smoke hangs heavy in the cold still early winter air. Returning home on the downhill the sun glittered off the wet pavement while permeating the white smoke. The divinity in nature. A blue / gray smoke mixes in as I get closer to home. Some oil being burned near the salvage of the old fallen barn? What has been spilled or stored over the past many years is not to be answered by the new owner. Tales of generations past holds those secrets. 

Hardly a car passed to interrupt the morning quiet and I was particularly grateful for the simplicity of just that this morning…

“It’s the ‘everyday’ experiences we encounter along the journey to who we wanna be that will define who we are when we get there.” 
― Aaron Lauritsen

Author: Elizabeth Ricketson

A graduate of Providence College with a BA in English, Elizabeth Ricketson has always had a love of literature and the fine arts. Elizabeth’s essays focus on life experiences and life in Vermont.

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