March 31, 2012

Track Season and Red Shoulders

Summer has come just a little early this year. 
The tender pink skin on my shoulders is my definite proof of this fact. 
Or maybe, instead of summer, I should simply say this...
outdoor track season has started. 
This year I have the privilege of cheering on my team. 
Cheering them on from silver stands on the sidelines, but still, in my own way, a part of the team. 
I get discouraged, I get overwhelmed, I'm still hoping for a good run without any pain whatsoever, but I will take whatever I can get. 
Between practices in the sun and long hours at different track meets this week, I have a feeling that 2012 will be the summer when I turn as brown as a berry. 
That phrase has never made much sense to me, because while I don't claim to be an expert on berries, I know for a fact that I have never encountered a brown one. 
Red, of course. Blue, obviously. 
But brown? No. Definitely not. 
Whoever came up with the phrase "brown as a berry" must have been from a country far from here in a land of different colored fruits. 
I'll ask my mom about that one, maybe it's a South Africa thing. 
I'd ask my dad, but he never uses that catch phrase, so maybe berries were in short supply when he was growing up in Jerusalem? 
I digress...
Today was one of those days when the sun was high and the air was muggy with the wave of oncoming summer. 
Driving up through the backgrounds from Shawnee to Ponca was relaxing and hazy. 
Talking and being with my friends at the meet was exciting and interesting. 
I'm blessed by friendships.
Every. Single. Day. 
Different people, different stories, different lives woven into this moment in time. 
Intersecting.
I remember periods when friends were in really short supply for me. 
Hard days, lonely days, days when God showed me time and time again that His grace is indeed, always sufficient. 
As this school year is reaching its final countdown, I keep thinking about the ways that my relationships have changed over the past year. 
Today I dove all over the state of Oklahoma, talking to people who I didn't even know existed a year ago. 
Friends who have stolen my heart. 
Today I got more sun on my shoulders than I got in a month of parade vending in the Florida sun. Not too shabby. 
So today, my thoughts are easy going and basic...
I like lemonade. 
I like blue skies. 
I like the smell of freshly mowed grass. 
But mostly, I like simple living right now. 
There are stressful things going on all around me. 
Job hunting. 
Trying to figure out my plan for the summer. 
The final crunch with classes. 
Running frustrations and running victories. 
Life all crammed together. 
But in this moment, this March 31st, 11:47 moment. 
It's really only coming down to the sound of my parents laughing in the other room, my puppy on the ground next to me, and the sting of a nose that encountered a little too much sun today. 
Life, pure, simple, and intentional.