feb 3/5.25 MILES

18 degrees/feels like 5
100% snow-covered
mississippi river road north/hennepin avenue bridge

Ran on the river road to downtown in the snow. My first time this winter running while it was snowing. Beautiful. It wasn’t too cold. The snow wasn’t too deep or annoying–except for when it felt like little knives hitting my face. There weren’t too many other people out on the path. I think I saw 3 or 4 runners. I was alone in the flats below the U. The steep hill almost to downtown was a bit tough so I walked it for a few minutes. Right at the base of the Hennepin Avenue bridge there was a zipline set up so people in town for the Super Bowl could zip across the river.

I loved this run today.

Heard the snow crunching again and noticed how the steady crunch sound traded off between my feet. The path today was a little more slippery and not packed down because it was steadily snowing. A few days ago I wrote a haiku about how the wet snow felt like running in the sand but I think that this dry, powdery, freshly-fallen snow felt more like running in the sand–especially the soft sand by the river.

Birds

Almost forgot to mention the birds. Running in the quiet snow, I kept hearing birds. Not geese or crows but something cooing or chirping. So odd to hear these calls which make me think of spring while running in the pure white solitude.

Here’s a poem about birds that I recently found and really like:

Bird Song —Rebecca Taksel

After all these years
I still don’t know the name
of the bird who has followed me
with his early-morning song
to all the places I’ve lived.

I’ve never asked
“Which bird is that, singing now?”
I remember hearing him first
on a spring morning in childhood
somewhere in the woods
behind our little house, his song clear
above the thousand little sounds
of grass and water and trees around us.

I’ve thought about the deaths I fear,
but only now do I know the death I want:
to let that song be the last thing I hear,
and not to mind at all that I never learned
the singer’s name.

Oh—and another thing about birds: After my run, and after meeting Scott at the coffee place, we walked by a tree, right in front of a spa/salon where they had thoughtfully placed half a dozen bird feeders. Little birds like to gather here. I know because I’ve walked by this tree before. As you approach the birds they flutter and fly, only briefly, away from the tree. It’s a beautiful thing to see.

And a few more lines about birds form a poem:

Snow melts into the earth and a gentle breeze
Loosens the damp gum wrappers, the stale leaves
Left over from autumn, and the dead brown grass.
The sky shakes itself out. And the invisible birds
Winter put away somewhere return…
(from The Late Wisconsin Spring/ John Koethe)