Seeing as my dad's 79th birthday would have been yesterday, I decided to take the day off as I wasn't sure how I would feel about it. Turns out, it was a total bummer.
I've never had the experience of having to endure a birthday of someone I've cared about who has died. A confidante suggested I do something that would have made my dad happy - like, take the money I would have spent on a gift or card and donate it to a charity, or take part in an activity that makes me happy because it's likely my dad would have preferred I do that than wallow in misery (hard to argue).
So I compromised. Yesterday, I wallowed. Today, I ran. And read poetry.
Wild Geese by Mary Oliver
I came across this poem over the summer and found it strangely comforting. None of us is perfect. And even though we all endure hardship, life goes on and so will we. Sometimes that can be hard to remember.
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Today's run: 10.5 km slow run. Weather: brilliantly sunny. Cool, but warmer than as of late. A nice reprieve before sub-zero temps return to the area tomorrow. Feeling: good. Surprisingly eager for longer distances in the training schedule. Maybe it's the call of the wild geese.