I ran in moonlight this morning, the stars sprinkled across the still dark western skies, winking at me as they slowly began turning off their lights. The streets were dusky, still dark in patches but for the puddles of light spilling onto the sidewalks from the streetlights.
The world was quiet, houselights just beginning to come on up and down the neighborhood streets. My feet jogged along the pavement, my face turned downwards looking for sneak attacks from the acorns that had been dropped from the oaks lining the sidewalk. One slip on those things and down I would go. I've had my fair share of a few turned ankles from those sneaky little buggers.
Cars begin to skim along the streets, some going to work, others taking their children to school or daycare, depositing them for the day. School starts so early for some of these kids. The birds are beginning to wake up, robins and mockingbirds cheerfully and happily greeting the day. A few bunnies finish up their breakfasts before bounding away, their little white tails pale in the violet light.
I make it to my turn around point, 2 1/5 miles under my belt. I look westward where on days when I have longer to run, my route would take me around a corner, up a small hill to the crest for the view that I run for, a view that looks out over my neighborhood and far away into the hills of Arkansas and further south. But I don't go that way today. My thoughts turn to Joe as I try to make out the time on my watch but it's still too dark (and my eyes are too old to see the small numbers) and I wonder if his alarm has gone off yet and how many times he's hit the snooze already.
I turn around and head for home. I glance to the east and see that the horizon is a fiery orange fringed in blues and purples. The sun is battling her way to the sky. I look west and see the full moon still up high in the sky, so bright that I can make out the dips and crevices that dot his face. But the stars are gone, save but two, and they are the ones that are always the first to appear in the evening and the last ones to leave in the morning. I have names for them, but they are my secret to keep for now. All I can say is that they watch over us and that they take care of each other every night. They are my special stars.
I pass middle schoolers pedaling madly for school and know that I still have plenty of time to get back home. Holt doesn't begin till 7:40 and I'm only a mile away from the last big hill before reaching my street. U2 sings "Bad" in my ear, my all time favorite song of theirs and I pick up my pace. I turn south, a blast of hot wind almost making me stumble backwards so strong it is, and look eastward once more. The sky is still rimmed a bright orange, but the deep purple dusk has given way to a softer blue with a few whispy clouds that are tinged Easter egg pink. I then turn my face westward, making sure the moon is still there. He is, but not quite so bright as he once was. Maybe he's beginning to bow to the sun, giving up his sky to his bright, bright sister.
I reach the top of the hill, huffing and puffing, and turn off my watch. I can make out the time quite easily now that the dark has given way to the daylight. U2 is turned off and I say hello to a fellow runner passing me on the sidewalk. I unlock the front door and am greeted to a still sleeping house, Joe's shower is quiet and the crack under his bedroom door still dark. I open it gently and whisper "time to get up" and go about making his school lunch and breakfast. I look at my to-do list as I gulp down a big glass of water and begin my day.
I set off on my run in moonlight this morning and witnessed the world waking up in beauty.