I began my run this particular spring day like any other. Lace ‘em up and get out the door. However this particular day my run would lead me across the plains of Eastern Colorado. Never once stepped on a sidewalk, crossed a busy intersection nor stopped for a traffic light. Nothing but pure two track trail to follow. Cows with new born calves gave way to hay fields which gave way to rolling hills strewn with sage brush. Atop a hill I could see forever and forever is a long way. No houses, no visible sign of human life. Just pure grasslands and prairie life.
The beauty of the landscape caused my mind to drift back to a time when the early pioneers crossed the same prairie. I wonder who traipsed across the same fields I was running that day? Young families in pursuit of opportunity? Settlers claiming their homestead acreage? Hunter gatherers providing for their love ones? Maybe even an outlaw riding his horse at break neck speed attempting to out run the local sheriff posse!
The difference of this run came about 3 to 4 miles into this easy workout. While standing on top of a hill, I stopped and cast my vision 360 degrees. Rolling hills, grasslands, early morning sunshine and a prairie breeze. All at once I felt really small and really big at the same time. As this feeling swept over me I became thankful. Thankful for the opportunity to run in such a beautiful place without the stress of pavement, automobile traffic and human noise. Just the pit pat of my shoes hitting the dirt trail and the slight prairie breeze. Thankful that I am able to be physically active. Thankful for the chance to run off life stress. Thankful to have an hour to be in God’s creation alone. So much to be thankful for.
The chirp of the prairie dog captured my attention as I turned around and headed back to our friends’ ranch house. A place they call home. A place where raising a family where their life values and priorities are lived out. A place to grow, achieve and then move forward. We have so much to be thankful for. This spirit of gratitude captured my mind and my heart throughout the day. It is good to give thanks. Today as you head out the door, give thanks!
Until next time – enjoy the run!
Photo credit: Author, British West Indies, Anguilla