Follow the footprints

  ImageThe first winter storm of the season blew through this weekend. Aside from chipping ice and shoveling snow, I got to do something I really enjoy: Jog in the snow.
   There’s something magical about it.
   I love going out after dark when it’s quiet, setting out on a snow-covered path. The snow compresses with each step in a pleasing crunch. The street lights make the snow glisten. Each breath leaves a misty mark in the air.
   While I prefer a warm summer night, there’s much beauty in winter’s cold.
   One of my favorite things about running in the snow is getting out early to make the first footprints. It’s sort of like Neil Armstrong putting his imprint in the soft lunar soil. It’s fun to see your footprints as the first ones there.
   On this night, an unusual thing happened. Even though it had been a pretty good storm, I wasn’t the first one to get out in it. Someone else had already been along the same street. And they were a runner, too — you could tell from the long stride and the elongated scrape marks by the heels.
   Another runner had beat me to it!
   I made sure not to step on their imprints, not wanting to blur the marks that another had left. Instead, I ran alongside them, adding my footprints next to theirs. Someone else had been out enjoying a snowy jog, just like me. Who knows? They might still be going.
   I followed my usual three-mile route and turned right, expecting to diverge from the other set of footprints. Instead, they turned along with me. Another right and then another — the other runner had taken the same route!
   Eventually, the other footprints got closer together, the sign that the runner was slowing. The footprints turned off toward a house that I had passed many times over the years without realizing another snow-loving runner lived there.
   I never knew someone else was going my way. I wasn‘t the only one who followed what I thought was my path.
   A lesson there, no?
   Sometimes we feel like we’re the only one on a certain path, the only one experiencing what we are experiencing. But that’s never true.
   Sometimes we get a little full of ourselves and think we’re breaking new ground, doing wonderful new things all by ourselves. All we have to do is look down and see the footprints of the countless others who brought us to this moment and share the path with us.
   In those other times when we feel alone in the dark and cold, all we need to do is look down and be reminded that we have many traveling companions who are going down the same path with us. Going our way.
   We’re never alone.
   It’s good to see the footprints of all those who go before us and go with us each day. It’s good to look at the path and be reminded.
   And then add out footprints next to theirs.

 Image

Author: joekay617

Feel free to add your thoughts and comments. Or you can reach me privately at joekay617@aol.com. Peace!

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