Last night, after dinner, after the kids had been bathed, the dog fed, the kitchen cleaned, and everyone settled in for the evening, I changed into my running clothes as I do every evening at this time. And, I sat on the kids' step stool in the bathroom to lace up my shoes, and for some reason, that act of lacing up my shoes brought me to tears.
So, I sat on the step stool and cried. Just for a moment. Long enough to use up the tears that swept over me, but not so long as to dwell with them.
Then, I finished lacing up my shoes and I went out and ran.
It was nothing special: A 3 mile route that I run nearly everyday. I didn't run fast. I didn't have any earth-shattering epiphany. I didn't completely resolve any feelings of grief, fear, despair, frustration, or sadness. I didn't have any newfound faith in humanity or any restoration of the power of good or heroism.
When I got back, the world was still the same place it had been when I'd set out. It was no different and neither was I. But.
I felt better.
And so we run.
Maybe away. Maybe toward.
As Tim O'Brien says at the end of his story, "The Things They Carried," "[Our] loads will be heavier" but, we find the strength to "carry on."
Run on, friends, run on.