#52sparks: A four-legged animal

On this Monday morning, its good to remember the random joys that can come into life…

Last weekend I participated in my first one-day relay race. I had participated in two previous relays, but they were over a longer number of days and both several years ago. And this particular adventure was with a team of runners I’d never met before. As usual, I barely slept the night before the race and woke up at 2:30am groggy-eyed and wondering what I had gotten into. I’m pretty sure I hit snooze with one hand and facepalmed with the other.

Midway through the event, I had completed my first portion (about 8 miles) and still had a second leg (5 miles) to go. The minimal sleep plus running plus extra-extrovertedness-need had me feeling like it was duct tape rather than strength holding me together. Our team (which was an absolutely wonderful group of writers and runners) had pulled to the side of the course to wait for our next runner to pass by. It was there that a strange sound echoed our direction from the farm.

Two small goats bleated in mirrored “mah”s. After going to the fair the previous week (and winning a stuffed goat in one of the games), I jumped out of the van to check out these little dudes up close. They bleated in near unison over an over again, with one proudly holding the high ground and the other ready to pounce at the first edible, or semi-edible, object. No other animals could be seen at the farm, but maybe they were just sleeping like I wanted to be. But these two little ones were awake, curious, and wanting to visit. Their repeated duet helped release some laughter over the absurdity that was this day: I was taking turns running with semi-strangers in the middle of nowhere for a medal. Yep, my day made just about as much sense as calling “mah” to a passing van.

Joy can, and thankfully does, pop up when you least expect it. So keep your eyes and ears open today. There might be a baby goat just up the road.

#52sparks is my year-long writing series based on an art prompt challenge. The title is inspired by a quote from Star Wars: The Last Jedi: “We are the spark, that will light the fire that’ll burn the First Order down” (Poe Dameron). The spark that lights a fire to toast a marshmallow or to ravage a forest begins in the space of an inch. So just imagine what hundreds of inches and words can do.

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