daily preciousness

Saturday, August 06, 2005

perfect sunrise

I'm out of the house, tap my keys, lock the door. Start my morning run under a golden sky. The light of sunrise greets me, filtered by windblown dust and the smell of freshly mowed grass.

The senator's son from Wisconsin is mowing. Looks 17. He's as tan and careless as a highschooler should be on a perfect summer morning. Wipes his brow and nods at me, swats at a fly and wipes the splattered remains off his hand. I smile and nod back. Friendly, unlike his dog. The family dalmation is furiously barking at me, keeping the stranger off their boulevard property.

And I'm considering the perfection of the sunrise. One perfect sunrise.

It could be my last, just like the bug's. I consider that for a few more moments -- what if this was my very last day to live? For every mile of my route, my feet hit the ground a thousand times. What if one of those thousand is my last step? What if my timeline is ending? Terminus: the endpoint.

What will it be? A 747 dropping on me? Avian flu? The overworked, drowsy driver of a glass transport truck? A gas main explosion? A sewer hole cover-turned-projectile? Or could the danger be from within? Heart attack? Spontaneous combustion? Who knows?

The smell of cut grass comforts me and I continue my run, toward the university campus. It is quiet there. The only work I can see outside is the work of the sprinklers, clicking little bursts of diamond drops toward a bed of purple and red flowers.


Perfect soundtrack to summer.... My timing is just right and I catch a quick spray. Summery and comforting. The spray hits me in the pants. I look down and I see that, while I pass the elderly care facility, I will look like I've wet myself. How perfect. Maybe I will brighten the morning of a lucky early riser.

Past acorn strewn brick paths, past bumpy asphalt sidewalks littered with ketchup bottles, past the flight plans of cardinals and suspicious squirrels, past the Lynn House Plastic Surgery Center, I continue.

Eventually, I U-turn, head home and see how far the senator's son has gotten. He's all done. And my usual 45 minute run has turned into an hour and a half journey. Was it seven or eight miles? Or was it just five plus plenty of sticky summer heat?

I'm not sure. But I am sure that it was one perfect sunrise. And I survive it. And it will not be my last.


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