Monday, September 1, 2014

Ray of Light.

Halfway through my 10K on this past Saturday

Zephyr in the sky at night I wonder
Do my tears of mourning sink beneath the sun?
She's got herself a universe gone quickly
For the call of thunder threatens everyone

And I feel like I just got home
And I feel
And I feel like I just got home
And I feel

Faster than the speeding light she's flying
Trying to remember where it all began
She's got herself a little piece of heaven
Waiting for the time when Earth shall be as one

And I feel like I just got home
And I feel
And I feel like I just got home
And I feel

Quicker than a ray of light
Quicker than a ray of light
Quicker than a ray of light

~ Madonna


I cried my eyes out while running to this song this morning. My legs felt strong and able and my wind was good. My mind was in a perfect place and even the humidity that couldn't be escaped by rising to run early didn't bother me. 


I'm toward the end of training for another half marathon and this morning was my last long run before the race next weekend. I'm not quite on schedule but, for whatever reason, I'm not terribly worried about that. I'm just not. Because this year of running has shown me what my body can do. And what beautiful things can rise out of the ashes of our deepest pain. 

Got a medal and a PR this weekend. Who knew?

Right before this song shuffled into my playlist, something dawned on me. This will be my third half marathon in 2014. That's significant because three was Deanna's lucky number. The other thing is that the race will take place on the day before my 44th birthday. And that also has meaning because Deanna was 44 when she departed. 


So then this song comes on right after I'd had that thought. And though I've heard that song a million times and have loved it mostly for its psychedelic trippiness, this time it moved me in a completely different way. Every single word. 

No, I'm no fast runner by any stretch of the word. So, to me, being "quicker than a ray of light" speaks not to how many miles I can run in a certain number of minutes but instead to this life. The days fly by quicker than a ray of light, right? So fast that if you aren't very careful and intentional about it all, you can miss so much. I guess it also makes me think of how, during that time, I just want to be a ray of light, you know? Like, letting my light shine so that this zephyr called life doesn't just blow by me. 

Sigh. What am I even talking about? 

I guess what I'm really saying is that even though the call of thunder threatens everyone, I still feel more glad than sad. With every single step that I run, every mile, every finish line, and every beat of my heart that ticks up when I do. . .I feel so. . .I don't know  . .connected and virile. Connected. . . .like I'm holding Deanna's hand and also giving JoLai and Will and, of course, Harry, the kids and my parents a gift every time I do. No, not the gift of guaranteed longevity. But just the gift of knowing that I'm trying. I am.

Man. I'm so rambling. Forgive me.

Mid-longrun pitstop this morning for water at my brother Will's clinic in Decatur. 

My tears were complicated. They were mostly happy tears mixed with that deep ache I feel when I'm missing Deanna. I also shed some tears reflecting on something I heard in church yesterday about the unforeseen things that can emerge from our most painful experiences. And while I'd give anything to have my sister here in the flesh, I also am letting myself embrace what God has done in this time. 

With Jill, originally a virtual friend from this blog and now a true Ruth in real life.


I realize that, even on the most painful days, I've got myself a little piece of heaven. And I am going to celebrate it, dance in it, run in it, and sprinkle it all around me like tiny pieces of confetti. Then I'm going to dance in it some more and pull you in to join me. Because you never know, man. You just don't. 

And so. As I run faster than the speed of light into age 44, I hope to do so with my eyes and heart wide open. Just like they were on my run today. Sometimes with tears, which is fine with me. That just means I'm alive and feeling, man. Which is what I want.

So today? I feel good. I feel strong, I feel able and I feel cherished. In other words, I feel . . . like I just got home. Yeah.

Happy Labor Day. And thank you for always listening. I mean it. 

Now playing on my mental iPod. . . . I absolutely LOVE this song. Always have but now I do more than ever. Thank you, Madonna, for speaking to my heart today.


  1. I ran my first marathon when I was 42 years old and I felt the exact same way as you described in this post. 18 years later I still try to maintain at least but after reading this I'm going for that feeling again....this time it might be a 1/2 marathon but the feeling is beyond imagination!


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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