trestle turn around
17 degrees / feels like 4
Is this the coldest day of the season? Just checked, and the next coldest was on November 20th when it was 19, feels like 9. I was worried it might be too cold, but it felt great! What a winter wonderland. White ground, pale blue sky, dark gray river. The trails were plowed — thanks Minneapolis Parks! — with only a few rough spots. I didn’t notice the ice because I was wearing yak trax. Just past the railroad trestle, I stopped to put in my headphones and a Taylor Swift playlist.
- 2 pairs of black running tights
- green base layer shirt
- pink jacket with hood
- black vest
- 2 pairs of gloves — 1 black, 1 pink and white striped
- 1 pair of white socks with stripes, mismatched — 1 with green stripes, the other teal
- fleece lined cap with ear flaps
- yak trax, a new pair
10 Things I Noticed
- a pale blue sky — not an intense BLUE! sky, more like the hint of blue, like if someone had taken a black and white photo of the gorge and painted in a blue sky
- lots of dry, brittle leaves swirling in the wind. Running by the double bridge to the north, I watched something dark fly through the fence then back again. A bug? A bird? No, a dead leaf
- Later on, I saw a few birds flying very fast across the path in front of me. They added to the chaos of the blustery wind and the swirling leaves
- 2 other runners, one near the trestle, the other further south
- a few walkers — any dogs? I don’t think so
- a group, some kids and adults, spread across the entire path, getting ready to go sledding down by the river
- remember to look at the river. A strange illusion. It was a dark, dark gray with a hint of brown and it looked like a wall. Instead of stretching flat on the gorge floor, it looked like it rose out of it, up towards the other bank. I’ve written about this wall of water in past winters
- the path was covered in mostly packed snow. The sun illuminated some of the slicker spots
- smelled a burnt something — I think I might have seen bits of rubber on the side of the road
- a truck with a plow, clearing the parking lot above the tunnel of trees
I don’t remember thinking about gray at all. Did I? Thought more about how I love running in the winter and whether or not my fingers were going numb or if my sunglasses would fog up or my foot would be sore again later today. Oh, and of course, I wondered what the drivers thought when they saw me running on this cold and windy day.
Today on the last day for singing a song of gray, I’m thinking about gravel. Here’s a bit from Mary Oliver’s “Gravel” in The Leaf and the Cloud. I’m struck by how she makes gray here with equal mentions of black and white: the black bog and white-circled eye, the white lilies and the black ant.
from “Gravel” in The Leaf and the Cloud/ Mary Oliver
Even the mosquito’s
flashing and groaning;
even the berries, softening back
into the black bog;
even the wood duck’s
and the first white lilies
on the shaggy pond,
and the big owl, shaking herself
out of the pitchpines,
even the turtle scratching in the dust,
even the black ant, climbing the mile-high hill,
even the little chattering swift
diving down into the black chimney.
Everything is participate.
Everything is a part of the world
we can see, taste, tickle, touch, hold onto,
and then it is dust.
Dust at last.
Dust and gravel.
In the distance, the rabbit-field.
Ben—his face in the grass, his chomping.
His sweet, wild eyes.
Thinking about gray as balanced, as both dark and light, black and white, grief and delight.