February 23rd

(Written Thursday, published Friday)

Duality today.

Mother nature playing tricks on the trees - Blossoms in February!
It's my brother's birthday. There are few people on planet earth that I respect more than him. He's so accomplished, so smart, has excellent taste... but most of all he is warm and loving. The antithesis to machismo. His family is Boise is lucky to have him - since it's a big loss for us East Coasters.

Today is also one year since my friend died. And no matter how much Feburary 23rd is my brother's day, it's El's day too. 

A while before she died, we sat on her open-aired screen porch and looked at the forest that surrounds her home. She talked about how much she missed hiking. At that point she could walk but very unsteadily. She seemed so weak, who knew it would get so much worse? I didn't want to tell her I had been running that day, but when she found out, she encouraged me, basically telling me to embrace exercise because she missed moving her body freely.

So today I thought of her as I did something new. One of the first places I ever visited in Somerset County - before we moved here - was Colonial Park. It's still one of my favorite places, less than a half hour from our house, but I hardly ever go there. 

If you are in the 08807-area then you know we have had exceptional weather. Today I happened to be in Somerset (we took refuge from HVAC replacement at a hotel) and treated myself to exercising at the park. Visitors looking for something extra for their workouts can follow the free and easy to follow circuit training. It even has directions for wheel chair users. 

If you were in Colonial Park today I probably gave you a good laugh. Completely under-dressed (in a t-shirt and shorts) I ran from sign to sign, then jumped, did toe touches, push ups and whatever else the signs asked for. When I got tired I thought of El and kept going... I had to stop because I just was too cold in the wind.

We are lucky to live somewhere with such beautiful trees, a nice place to exercise, pretty streams to look for wildlife and even friendly people who smile and say hi as I jogged past them. 

I looked at the near cloudless sky and saw the blooming trees. My brother would have enjoyed bird watching. I enjoyed the red sprouting trees against a blue sky. It might have been too manicured a park for El's tastes, but I really enjoyed my morning in the park. 

Happy and sad, duality. 

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