I've been trying to up my running game lately. This means getting up before the kids and getting Trigger on the leash before his excitement wakes up the entire house. The twins have been sleeping better the last couple months since the Man finally talked me into letting him man the night shift, so, on what has somehow become a regular basis, I've been rolling out of bed and slipping into running shoes.
I haven't run this much since college when I messed up my knee. And it's great. I'm not talking so much about the running (although I'm a dork and I do enjoy it), but the early morning quiet and the time to pray and the chance to allow my introverted self to start my day with a bit less of a bang is amazing.
I'm not going to lie, though, my favorite part of running here is being on the look out for the wildlife. Monterey is fun like that. My first couple runs I saw this incredibly fat hawk that was walking around like a rooster because it was almost too chubby to fly. I've seen deer and rabbits and squirrels. One time, my sister and I even saw a coyote. And on the days I run down by the shore, I've seen pods of whales just out past the breakers.
It's hard to beat whales, let's be honest, but the hummingbirds come in a close second. There's just something about the whisper-flash of iridescent green. They are ephemeral. They remind me of the kingfishers from home who joined me on my morning runs in high school.
Years ago, when I ran on an orange track in the shadow of a volcano, one of my dear aunt-friends told me that my kingfisher sightings were one of God's ways of telling me how much he loved me.
Now, half a world away, the hummingbirds tell me the same thing.
That's worth getting out of bed in the morning.