Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Trail Note

I went for a run around the block (the 3 1/2 mile loop around the top of QA hill) for the first time in several weeks. I was not too excited to go. For the last several weeks I had been exercising less than usual while overindulging in calories (the pizza from lunch was still heavy in my stomach on the drive home from work). The cold drizzle and black skies (the sun had set almost 3 hours before the time that I was dressed in my running gear) were not bolstering my motivation. Once on the road, however, I was glad I made it out.

I live on a hill that overlooks downtown Seattle to the south, Lake Union to the east, and the Puget Sound to the west. It's full of beautiful homes of varying architectural styles. As I run through the neighborhood in the spring and summer I admire the well tended gardens and mountain views; in the fall the turning leaves; and now, in December, I was somehow surprised by the holiday lights. There was a Tudor home complete with Santa, reindeer, elves, a nativity, and Frosty, a contemporary house with a white rope of lights outlining its clean lines, and everything in between.

Some people think that holiday lights are a waste of energy; others that they are tacky, and still others that they represent a glorification of one religion over another. But despite not necessarily believing that a few drops of oil burned for seven nights or that a savior was born in a manger 2000+ years ago, I think that the lights are a wonderful thing. I think that it is special to shine whatever light it is that guides us, especially at this time of year with its dark and chilly nights and often troubled days. The holiday lights and decorations remind us that there is still beauty and warmth in the world and that soon the days will begin to get longer again.

This is not something that I'd have seen from my couch, or my car, or even a treadmill.


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