Almost every morning this week I set my alarm early, in hopes of getting up for a short jog before work. My wide awake brain at 11pm or midnight knows it will be tough to get up on time, but it tells my alarm clock that it will be worth it to get some fresh air before 9 hours in an office building and that I won’t regret the choice by the time I get out on the sidewalk. And almost every morning this week I managed to hit snooze too many times to make it out in time. Why those extra 9 minutes (times 3) are so tempting to my groggy morning brain I’m not sure. The silver lining was that I made it to work on time or early each day I failed to hit the sidewalks, but still that failure to make it up and out as hoped was this annoying thorn to the week.
Which brings this post to today, the one day I made it up an out in time to jog to Target and back before heading to Starbucks for grading and some work email. Yes, the snooze button was still hit but happily not as much and the window was still open for a 20 minute jog before starting the day. I put on a few layers, and a bandana with cute flowers on it. As I walked through the parking lot to my traditional starting place, my eyes appreciated the mostly clear skies with hints of blue and purple among the clouds. Over the freeway I spotted a rainbow and stood wonderstruck in the lot as I realized I could see an entire arch faintly shining against a blue backdrop. My camera attempted to capture the sight, but I know those shots will not do justice to the wonder of that moment; this is why I need to get up in the morning: to see what wonders God has in store. I headed north along the sidewalk for my short loop to Target and back, one I’ve done many times before and know lasts about 6 songs on the iPod. A few raindrops began to come down half-way to my destination, but they were just the runaways from a single cloud and not worthy of real notice or redirection. It was as I turned at the Target driveway that the other clouds joined in and brought drops cascading down my back and into puddles before me all the way home. My apartment felt nice and toasty to a semi-drowned rat after I came across my front doorway again.
I sat for a few minutes on the couch, catching my breath and ditching my bandana. Unlike the rhyme about entering as a lion and ending like a lamb, I had started under a blue sky and rainbow, then ended with the rain pouring down. But if that rain had been there as I walked across the parking lot, would I have gone? No. I would have headed back to shower, back to a magazine, or back to bed (probably back to bed). Sometimes the journey needs to start easy, to start beautiful so that when you are in the midst of the struggles, the downpour, you have that hopeful beauty to hold onto and too much work put in to back out now. I read a sign a week ago that sums it up well: “When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on so long.”