This morning my alarm went off at 6 am. It wasn't welcomed, but I only hit my snooze twice. Then I dragged myself out of bed and changed into a running skirt, good shoes, a sports bra and a ponytail. I ran.
My body wasn't happy about being there. I didn't get the high I normally do. I felt clumsy and slow. I pushed, though. I pushed so that I ran my mile and a half faster than I've run it before. When I was done I could feel my face burning, my calves aching a bit. I was distracted, though.
As soon as I turned on the car I heard about the shooting in Colorado. It was all over the news on the television screen while I ran. It was in my head.
As I was driving home I passed a field with cows. They were walking toward the water and walking with them were the small, white, crane-like birds that flock around the cows out here. I realize there is a reason why they stay with the cows. The cows offer them sustenance, and I believe a kind of protection. What predator would attack a small, white bird standing on the back of a large brown cow? No matter where the cows go the birds follow, walking alongside the cow in it's vast shadow, because they know that there is life with those cows.
Do you think the birds love those cows? Or maybe they resent them? It must be difficult to be a bird and confine yourself to a field when you could fly anywhere.
I am watching the news as I eat my eggs. My children are sleeping and I think of their soft little faces and warm bodies, snug and safe in their beds. I think of my baby in her little footie pajamas as they reveal that the youngest victim is a three-month-old baby. Is she alive? Was she wounded or killed? This breaks my mommy heart.
My life is not guaranteed. I run because I'd like to make it as healthy and extend it as long as I can. But maybe I'll go to a movie or the mall or the park or even church and someone will cut it short. Maybe someone will cut short the life of my baby or her brother or sister.
It's senseless and heartbreaking, so i walk along in the shadow of my protector and the sustainer of my life and remember that, though life may be short, it is rich and fulfilling in each moment that we choose to be and do our best.
And I pray.