I had planned on just a run- a nice, easy run. It was my favorite time of day- nearing dusk on a midsummer night, and I was all alone... perfect conditions for an enjoyable jog. I was planning a run, and had not anticipated a stroll down memory lane. . .
As soon as I stepped on the track, my mind was racing. But once the wind blew and I breathed in the scent of rubber and corn fields, cows and fresh cut grass, I was lost in a sea of memories... Memories of the days before worries of milk-supply and mortgage payments, of a time when my focus was on mile splits and GPA's. It was the fastest a 30 minute run had ever past, it all felt so familiar, so... home.
I ran and thought. Each mark I passed brought on a different memory. I thought about being an 8th grader, running track just because Jordan was, how I loved it, how I wanted to be so good so bad. I thought about how somehow nine years had already passed since then. I remembered how almost 9 years ago to the day I made the commitment to love and follow Jesus with my life, how shortly after that I broke up with Jordan, how I still have the note my dad wrote me that said, 'Mom told me about you and Jordan. It's okay, sweetie. Just keep making Jesus your #1 priority'. I thought about how even then, I loved Jordan. I thought about where my grandma stood as I finished my first home cross-country meet, the dress I wore my freshman year on homecoming court. I thought about hooded sweatshirts and gum wrapper rings at Friday night football games. I remembered waiting for Jordan afterwards, huddling around with friends debating whose boyfriend would take longer. I remembered the way he smelled, looked, showing me his battle wounds from a grueling game. I rememberd the blistering heat of early August practice and morning runs on weekdays in early fall, the cool morning air... I remembered running until it hurt, through the hurt, past the hurt. I remembered working and planning and striving, goal-setting, evaluating. I remembered the comradery between teammates, hanging upside down from the shelter house beams, mile square repeats, ladders on the track. I remember being the last to leave as I finished that last sprint workout before state. I remembered catching bugs on the wilderness trail in 7th grade... laughing at the boy who is now my husband. I thought about being a freshman, loving and hating the catcalls of the football players as we ran past. I remembered getting ready to leave for college, and finding comfort on the paths I'd always run. I thought about the day Jordan left for California, and how I ran and cried with Kallie. I remembered the last day of highschool, covertly painting 'the rock' with a group of friends, and how we laughed and hid, laughed and ran. I remembered the years prior, the excitement for a new year, a new season, a new start.
I loved looking back, remembering, thinking on where we were, where we are now. I love that my husband is so much a part of so many memories from such a sweet time in my life. I love that I loved to run then and love to run now. I love that so much has changed, but so much has stayed the same. I love the familiarness of home, in whatever form that may come. I love the smell of corn and cows, that middle-of-summer, middle-of-nowhere, familiar smell. I love that I can look back on highschool so fondly, that, while I'd never say they were the best years of my life, they were certainly sweet. And I'm really thankful for that.