Big. Heavy. Sigh. That is how I felt as I tied up my laces and stepped out the door for my run. Here is the thing, around here, there really are only two options for running routes.
- You can go north on 201
- You can go south on 201
Running on 201 is a little different than anywhere else I have run regularly. This road is the fastest, most efficient way to the more populated areas of Canadian Provence of Quebec, and it is how most freight passes between the two countries. It is also one of the major travel routes for the forest industry, sending wood to mills in both the US and Canada. So there are a lot of big trucks flying back and forth, carrying everything from wood, to windows, to windmills. These trucks send up a breath-stealing (slush slinging) gust of wind as they pass you by laden with their wares. In the winter, it is particularly…uncomfortable when one (or 4 in a row) passes you.
I was lamenting all of this as I was running down Main Street, jogged onto 201 (I went north), dreading the big trucks and wishing I had some more choices for running routes. As I searched for my rhythm, I watched the Kennebec River float by, the big chunks of ice bobbing in the current.
I always zone out watching the water, so I was lost in thought when I caught a movement above the river. It was a bald eagle. The angle of the sun was just right, and his feathers almost glowed as I watched him surfing on air currents, working back and forth, diving and rising. He finally settled down on a tall white pine that overlooked the bend in the river. He just sat there, head turning upstream and downstream, surveying the scene.
I am not sure why, but seeing this eagle gave me a feeling of contentment that even the series of log trucks screaming by me could not shatter. It is funny what we take for granted, and how we are usually a lot luckier than we think we are. We often look at what we are missing, instead of appreciating what we have. I really think if we spent more time thinking about what we have instead of regretting what we are missing, we all would be a lot more content.
For the rest of my run, I was just…happy. I reached my turn around, braced myself for the inevitable wind from yet another oncoming truck and headed home.