Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Breathing in the New Year

29 minutes into the new year, and I have already heard the ocean, ran the sands, and breathed the salty air. After toasting with sparkling pomegranate juice in wine glasses, my family piled into the car--my mom and I still wearing our big comfy sweaters and fuzzy socks--for a midnight run on the beach. Sometimes there are others we find parked in the parking lot of Nauset Beach, but tonight it was just us. We felt our way along the path to the sand, our eyes adjusting just in time for us to dodge around the wooden benches and poles. There was no moon tonight, but the stars were bright and promising. 

The sand was iced with snow. It crunched beneath our feet as we ran. I love the cold because it makes me feel like I'm running fast. My stride length was nothing to brag about, but it sure felt like my legs were turning over quickly. I will choose to believe that they were.

I could have run forever like that, beneath the stars with the ocean cheering me on, the cool sea breeze blowing in my face. The whole time I ran with my neck craned up and swiveling like the lighthouse light that passed over us every minute. I think the feeling can be summed up in Mary Oliver's poem, "The Storm." 

The Storm
By Mary Oliver

Now through the white orchard my little dog
     romps, breaking the new snow
     with wild feet.
Running here running there, excited,
     hardly able to stop, he leaps, he spins
until the white snow is written upon
     in large, exuberant letters,
a long sentence, expressing
     the pleasures of the body in the world.

Oh, I could not have said it better 

Out there by the ocean, with no one around, it is impossible not to want to leap and spin and throw your arms out like an airplane and pretend to fly. In fact, it almost feels like you can. 

To fully welcome 2014, we did twenty jumping jacks and a fourteen second sprint. We returned to the car with our rosy cheeks and foggy glasses, our hearts beating, our minds clear, and our spirits invigorated. 

Happy New Year, everyone! 

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