I just returned from my run.
It's the Sunday morning route I've run hundreds of times: down my street, across 108th, up through the office park, up and back down the killer hill, down to the trailhead, winding through the golf course, back across 108th, and a sprint back home.
I rose with the sun as I got out of bed this morning and realized that this old familiar run would be different. Today is my last Sunday in this house.
With strong, fast steps, as I ascended the killer Simms hill, quietly chanting my mantra of late - hills are my strength, hills are my strength, hills are my strength - I recalled the mid morning walks from my first summer here. Breathlessly, I once pushed the jog stroller in which my baby girl slept. There was a time when I could barely walk up this hill.
From its apex, I was warmed by the amber and gold cast by the rising sun. I saw, and I remembered. I see, and I remember.
I see the city, the mountains, the lake and my neighborhood. I see my home. I have logged many miles, laughed and cried many tears. I have dreamed dreams and prayed fervent prayers along this long, scenic route. I have lost myself and found myself again and again. My thirst has been quenched. My questions have been answered, and I have found peace in this place, with its valleys and its hills, its green grass, sprawling oak trees and colorful wildflowers. I am swifter and stronger than I once was. I am changed. I am thankful.
And now, I am back home. I sit in my old familiar chair - fortified and hidden by shrink-wrapped furniture and boxes. The walls are bare in this house that has become my home. It is familiar and unfamiliar at once. I think this is what they refer to as the beginning of the end. But it is no longer sadness that I feel. Rather, it is peace and pleasure and awe. It is time, and finally... finally, I feel ready.