Digging Deep is so Important Right Now…

                               

The lure of early morning. A new day, a fresh start, hopeful and even somewhat exciting despite a pandemic. Endless possibilities with hours yet to fill. The sky was a deceptive cobalt blue this past Saturday. Warmth and stillness were only an illusion. The tease of “spring like” temperatures lingered in thought only. A blast of cold dry air enveloped me as I let my dog out around 7 a.m. Temperatures had plummeted. It was cold again… 

A short early run was on my schedule. My local running route is quite straight forward. A simple out and back was all that was required for this running effort. To the right is a continuous climb up but still my preference as it is beautifully quiet to run along the dirt road. The Vermont landscape and the gentle sound of streams flowing make the uphill suffering that much easier. The ride home is wonderful as the downhill is a bonus. To the left is a long stretch of pavement, a slight downhill passing beautiful barns, fields and the trailhead to the Appalachian Trail.  I didn’t think much about my choice of direction as I made my way down the driveway yesterday. I left it to the simplicity of a whim upon reaching the road. 

Left it was and soon after starting my slow relaxed warm-up pace I became aware of the wind I had hoped was no longer blowing so harshly. Temporarily I tried to put it out of my mind and did so somewhat successfully. I reached the desired mileage out and now it was time to turn back and head home. Paying attention suddenly became my only option as the wind was biting cold and strong. A headwind. An open field notorious for strong visible winds for the next quarter mile plus. A snowy whirlwind swept across the landscape.  Ironically, during the summer months this field is a picturesque pastoral scene. A local farmer will be haying the field as often as nature allows while the late summer’s crackling heat will rise like steam off the pavement. Hard to imagine the upcoming months of seasonal changes as I struggled with the cold…

The wind whipped across the field with a chilling fierceness bringing my run momentarily to a walk. I could feel my contact lenses gripping my eyes as they held on for dear life while the wind found opportunity around the perimeters of my sunglasses. Even my protective running apparel designed for winter days complained. The Rolling Stones’ song “Gimme Shelter” ran through my head along with my “special occasion “curse words. The title was not really applicable to my circumstance of the day, but it was on my mind instantaneously. The Stones’ song was written by Keith Richards and Mick Jagger about the war in Vietnam, issues of cultural tensions and the riff between Richards and Jagger over an ex-girlfriend of Richards.’ Speculation of a dalliance with Jagger. Many thoughts ran through my brain as I tried to distract myself and navigate my way home. Protection and shelter were exactly what I wanted… 

The miles were anything but easy. The battle was real. The central governor in my brain was calling the shots. The incredible headwind was a humbling reminder that winter in Vermont is not over.  Unfortunately, neither is Covid-19. Patience has waned on both fronts and feelings of fatigue are ever present… 

Runners’ have to find their way home despite the elements and one’s fatigue. Sometimes you simply have to dig deep. Finding out what you are capable of is often illuminated on the pavement. Lessons are learned during the many miles we travel. Digging deep has never been more important than it is right now. Just need to run the tangents so we can all make it safely home…

“The deeper we dig into our field the more we know about its details” Sunday Adelaja

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.

2 thoughts

  1. exactly true. Digging deep is what we all need to do at this time, as we slowly, carefully, delicately, make our way out of the strangle of the pandemic. Thank you for this beautiful metaphor, so needed today….

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