sand and silt kept me silent and thrilled

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This morning the sun was out in full force by 7:00 AM.  An invitation for runners, bikers & walkers.  I accepted the invitation to run.

As I followed the Southern Walk trail towards the boardwalk….I came to a complete stop.  Well, mostly because I  ran smack dab in a sandy silt filled puddle, left by last nights thunderstorm.   Any *true* runner knows to keep the pace, don’t stop- run, run, run.   Not me…I stopped.  Scraped my Mizuno’s from the wet sand and what ever else was stuck to my pink running shoes.  As I looked towards the Lincoln Tunnel for runners [see above pic] there was a bald eagle soaring above the tennis court,  with wings spread out imitating a hang glider.  Almost motionless.  I remembered from Mr. Birdman at Apple’s elementary school last week, we have a variety of raptors in our area.    I’m so, so, so, so afraid of birds.  (see blog post Momma Daisy vs. Robin )  When we visited Hillside Elementary last week for STEAM night, there was an educational program given by two retired employees from NoVA’s Environmental Department.  Football Superstar insisted I move up front to see all three – in his words- awesome birds of prey.   All I could think of was Alfred Hitchcock.   An owl that was injured on the toll road, now in rehab had very pretty green-yellow eyes, but that wing span almost put me out of the gymnasium.  We were all reminded to remain calm and very – very quiet.   Next, the Red-shoulder Hawk.   Hillside Elementary mascot, is a hawk.    That bird was too big to be sitting on the arm of this retired naturalist if you ask me!   Mr. Birdman with all of his knowledge and expertise was calm.  But to me, this kind man was no taller than 5′ 4″ and looked to be in his 80’s, and I thought to myself while nudging my husband, will Mr. Birdman be able to control this raptor when it decides to go after the prey.   Me!    Obviously, my husband was really enjoying this presentation. He never felt my nails gripping his forearm.   Apple was sitting in the front row with two of her friends.   My own protectiveness kicked in like a mamma mountain lion- fly after my baby girl ,and you’ll find yourself decorating a fine ladies hat!   Just kidding.    I was so impressed by my daughters interest of these birds that had razor sharp beaks and claws, and primarily sit on top of the bird food chain.    She would turn to us with her bright smile – nodding to me in hopes that her mother would finally break free of my bird phobia.     I tried smiling back in order to show my braveness.  Meantime, keeping my eye on Mr. Birdman and his feathery guest.

But today as I stood very quiet and very still – watching our National symbol soar through a crystal blue sky…….I found myself so excited, almost paralyzed.   It may sound silly, but it was breathtaking.   Maybe I captured Apple’s thrill of knowing these birds of prey are quite majestic and important to us.

I will be sure to admire from where I am, giving them a lot of personal space.    Respecting these creatures that have been created for a purpose.   It sadden me to learn they are falling victim to vehicle collisions along our major highways.  But fortunately, we have the raptor rehab centers right here in NoVA and in the District.

Walking back home.  (yes, Theresa I walked back home)  I looked up hoping to see my eagle friend – which I named Eloise – but instead of Eloise, there were five hideous turkey vultures soaring in the her crystal blue sky.  I high tailed it back home (because I don’t care what anyone says…vultures are hideous!) to only find this person waiting, to accompany me in the “cool down walk”.

My hero!
My hero!

Theresa ( my running coach) if you are reading this…I promise tomorrow I’ll go the distance!  To the tune of Chariots of Fire!!


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