mindfulness running

Snowglobes of Pollen: Finding mindfulness while running

entertainment, Humor

Can you observe your environment? Or are you constantly playing Mental Tennis?

It’s the first day of summer vacation. I’m lucky enough to be a teacher, so the months of June, July and August are magical periods of relaxation, reflection, and jogging.  Lots and lots of jogging.

Oddly enough, I find that jogging allows me to relax and reflect at the same time.  Maybe this is why my body woke me up so early on a morning that I could have easily slept until 10.  Without an alarm, my eyes were wide open around 6 AM, listening to the sounds of the street below my bedroom window.  The breeze swirling through my grey curtains was chilly, but pleasant.  The kind of chilly that’s bracing…not the kind that makes you want to curl up as a human burrito in your comforter.

I was actually glad the morning air had a tinge of autumn in it.  Runners thrill to conditions that don’t leave them looking like Niagara Falls just cascaded out of their pores.  The air was ripe for running, as was the street:  still, barely any traffic.  It was the kind of street you could run on without any interruptions or distractions.

I get rather quiet when I run.  Don’t be confused:  I know you probably now have images of me shouting like a banshee as I jog faster and faster.  The quiet I experience is in my mind…the type of quiet that allows you to really appreciate your surroundings and pick up on things you may have missed.  So often, we allow ourselves to get caught up in our own mental stream of chatter: what are you going to do today? Did you pay the bill? What’s going to happen if you forgot? What’s your plan for next year? And so on, and so on.

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Luckily for me, this morning greeted me with a library silence of worrisome thought.  I began tapping down 6th Street, and the first thing that struck me was the sun.  Looking through the trees of Gridley Park, it looked so…pure.  So pristine.  The type of sun that you would photograph and submit into a magazine.  It was so stunning that I couldn’t help but notice it.  The minute that happened, I also noticed all of the pollen in the air.  It was everywhere, and the sun was perfectly aligned to make it all look like a giant snow globe.  The park was peaceful.  I was peaceful, too.

Even now, I still am amazed by the beauty of this morning. I don’t often pause to write about environmental conditions on my daily commute to work.  Rather, it’s just a chore to drive 20 minutes in.  I don’t often look outside my window and breathe it all in.

I have a large appreciation for the sun this morning.  It made me stop and observe beauty….it made me stop and observe that moment.  I want to observe more this summer.  I want to get away from past and future worries.  This summer, let’s focus on the sunlight.  And pollen.  You can’t make a snow globe without pollen.