Use what talent you possess: the woods would be very silent indeed if no birds sang except those that sang best.” -unknown, misattributed to Thoreau and VanDyke

The choir began to sing at church yesterday.

My head came up.  I was compelled to stand and move to the front and join them. Church people like that.  It’s like, yeah sista’ you feel that too? sing with me!

Me, I’m no Adele, but in a choir, it’s no matter.

So I sang too.

My life flows on in endless song,
above earth’s lamentation,
I hear the sweet though far-off hymn
that hails a new creation.
Through all the tumult and the strife,
I hear the music ringing,
It finds an echo in my soul,
How can I keep from singing?
The song has stayed with me.

Last friday morning around 6 a.m. I crawled to my phone and texted my running buddy, dying…bad cold…can’t run…so sorry.

And I was sorry.  And mad.  It was going to be one of those perfect fall running mornings on the rail trail. A very rare New Hampshire run when the air wasn’t dripping with humidity or freezing with hail or falling with snow.  I swear I could feel  the run before I even ran it.  The earth would feel quiet from noise and cars, birds chirping, dew rising from the bogs and small ponds, dry and wet leaves crunching together under the rhythm of running shoes.  

sigh.  Perfect run.

I rarely feel so knocked out, but that day – knock-out punch.  

All the kids had a day off too.  Sweeeet.

One must pause and count blessings.  My baby is 5.  I could actually bury my head under the pillow and kids could fend for selves for the day.

Which is what happened until 8 when Brynne begged for a walk.  I crawled to the hall, took an Alka-Seltzer (miracle drug, friends, miracle drug) and with my pajamas still on, grabbed my camera, and followed teeny tinies outside.

Oh, it was a perfect morning.

As I looked at through my pictures from that day, I thought it funny.  I had been upset about a ruined run.

But if the run hadn’t been ruined, I would have missed the walk.
Since we live “in the sticks,” I don’t pay much attention to my clothing choices. I’m frequently unseen wearing pajama bottoms and mud boots.  

Off we went, crunch crunch in the leaves.  There was something in the air that morning that made me inhale and actually feel better, like I was breathing life.  Or maybe it was the Alka-Seltzer.  Nah, definitely the fall air.
Morning light

The hill posed a breathing problem, but I was pushed farther and higher.

Leaves blown across the road
Mr. Rembrandt, Monet and Sargent mooing at us.  They escaped the other day and ran around the neighborhood.  It’s not everyday your neighbor runs past you yelling, seen my water buffalo?

fog rising

stone fences hundreds of years old, spotted with fungus and weather

leaves changing, a season ending, a new one coming

Singing, singing
No storm can shake my inmost calm,
while to that refuge clinging,
since Christ in Lord of heav’n and earth,
How can I keep from singing?
girls shrieking, biking without brakes, exhilaration, running fast

leaves creeping, green fungus spotting bark

shadows shading

looking upwards at blue, reds, oranges, and yellow
moo moo brown cow

girl happy, hair unbrushed, outgrowing training wheels 

I lift mine eyes,
the cloud grows thin,
I see the blue above it,
And day by day
this pathway smoothes,
Since first I learned to love it,

The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart,
A fountain ever springing,
All things are mine since I am His,
How can I keep from singing?

How can I keep from singing?

Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.
-attributed to Thoreau’s Walden

How can I keep from singing?

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