Full moon over the ocean

It was a rough day.  School holidays in the rain with two young, restless children.  A mostly successful day out at the waterfront in Geelong had gone rapidly downhill on the drive home.  I was cranky, wound tightly, pacing our small home like a panther, back and forth, back and forth.  Outside, storm clouds hovered in the place on the horizon that meant certain rain.  The wind was howling, and it was 4:30.  It would be dark soon.  

When my husband suggested the run, by rights  my answer should have been no.  Yet I was out the door moments later, two layers between me and the wind.

It rained immediately, cold, blowy rain, but I didn’t care.  I was free and my sneakers scritch-scritched on the gravel road.  My plan was 14km, further than I’d run here before.  The trail was pocked with puddles, with only a few cold parents struggling along.  

But I felt light as a feather, sprinting and sliding down my favorite trail, then dashing across the Barwon River Bridge.  My turn-around point was further than I’d expected, and I found myself alone on an empty trail as it rapidly grew dark.  I’m from New York.  Dark and alone equal danger to me, and I was suddenly scared.  I raced along the shipwreck coast,feeling haunted by ghosts long gone.  My pace saved me, and soon I left the fear of empty dirt track behind, re-tracking my way across the bridge.  

Faced with a further dark woody trail, I chose the beach that ran alongside instead.  Fear disappeared, replaced by joy.  Waves crashed, dogs leapt after balls, all was safe again.  At 10k, I assessed my body, and was pleased all was good.  For a little while then, I was just in the zone, not noticing much but the growing dark. 

All of a sudden, I was drawn to look at the sky. That instant, a huge, bright full moon shone through the clouds.  It was like a second sun had appeared to light my way home.  It felt like a blessing.  

When I came to the final trail section, it was fully dark, but that moon shone straight down my trail, lighting up the puddles and holes, and I sprinted, loving this unknown running in the dark, the solitude, the sense of being wrapped in a warm,, safe blanket.

The final hill appeared, steep, dark.  The rain, which had stopped long before, suddenly began again.  It was cold, and wet, and a super-steep climb.  It should have felt awful.  But it didn’t.  There was no place in the world I would rather be in that moment.  The moon disappeared then, as if it were winking.  

When it came back out later, I was warm and dry, in my lovely home with my perfect family.  I showed it to the children, that moon, but I couldn’t quite explain why it felt like my moon, and my moon alone.

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