Oh Beautiful, for spacious skies…

I’m a sucker for “America, the Beautiful”. I’ve been thinking of this song and so i downloaded it from iTunes last night and listened to it and sang it this morning on my way to work. I ran on tuesday, wednesday, and thursday this week. Each day I ran outside and saw the beauty of the changing colors of the leaves and felt so much more change happening within and around me. Lots of things are stirred up right now for myself, for our country. Wow. What a thrill. Being stirred up is a great thing. It may not always FEEL like a great thing, but it is. My experience tells me so. It tells me some of the most profound and fascinating times in my life are when I am stirred the most, when I can’t sit still and when my mind is racing and my heart feels like it will just burst wide open. I am not quite in that moment, but i know i am close. The rumblings are there. 

This week I was privileged enough to sit with 2 different strangers at different times. In one encounter, a woman began telling me what has been going on with her and began to cry. I was merely a listener – with compassion. Today, the other stranger was sharing things about his life, his kids and his 70+ year old pretty blue eyes filled with tears. I just listened. 

Last night, I was reading the NY Times editorial and op-ed sections. There were some great writings about the election and Obama. I wish I was such an eloquent writer as some of those folks…quite moving were there words. 

Before I began this post, I was reading another op-ed piece online and then I clicked on a link to read Obama’s acceptance speech since I had been in bed by the time he spoke in Grant Park. As I read his words, I felt my breathing slow just a bit and noticed my own tears start to swell in my brown eyes. 

I spoke to a group of folks earlier this week about the financial crisis we are in. We talked about the “American Dream” and how it had become the “i can have whatever i want when i want it kind of american dream”. The group asked me, “how is this going to get better, how are we gonna get out of this.” My answer was simple: it starts with all of us in this room; with every person being financially responsible and financially accountable. And then, talk to other people about this same thing and help them be more and better educated about these issues.” 

I grew up a heckuva lot more independent than most folks. Life forced its hand and I had to sink or swim. I swam and swam hard and have learned some hard, painful lessons. But, I have also found when you swim really hard for a long time, you get to take a breather once in a while and float. Then, start swimming hard again. AND, I’m not even a good swimmer! I’m horrible, actually. 

I believe in independence, responsibility and accountability. And I believe in helping others who might not be able to even get in the freaking water, for whatever reason. If I can take there hand and help them in the water, maybe they will be able to get it going for themselves. 

So, in the words of our soon to be President: “let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other.”

Tuesday, Nov 4th: 3 miles, 28:29, 9:29 pace – hilly, moderate-hard effort

Wednesday, Nov 5th: 3.34 miles, 31:08, 9:19 pace – hilly, hard effort

Thursday, Nov 6th: 3 miles, 29:37, 9:52 pace – small hills, easy effort

I hope to get in some much longer runs this weekend with the spacious skies above me…

2 Responses to “Oh Beautiful, for spacious skies…”

  1. I agree. The American Dream somehow became less about people and work and more about things. We need to get back to the people and the work. That’s how we’ll swim.
    Good post. 🙂

  2. I agree with all those things – I belive in all those things. See you Wed

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