Fresh air is hard to come by for this librarian during the school year; without effort, my forays outside consist of walks from home to car and car to school. So yesterday morning I tied on my sneakers and headed outside for a five a.m. walk-and-jog.
The cool air gave me a muggy embrace. My quiet footsteps were almost drowned out by the sound of traffic on the not-so-distant highway; I was surprised by that dull roar so early in the day. The darkness seemed to spur me to move faster, as I walked from streetlight to streetlight, shining my cellphone on the pavement when I was leery of my next step.
Turning into the cul-de-sac, my thoughts always go to coyotes. They haven't been spotted for a while....but what would I do if I encountered one on the road? This morning gave me no answers; my only visible companion was a lone firefly blinking in a grassy lot, hinting that our summer isn't quite over yet, despite the return to school.
Reaching the end of the loop, I jogged the straightaway path back to my house, my heavy footfalls competing with nightsongs of crickets and frogs. A lone car passed me, lights shining ahead in this darkening-before-dawn. I turned at the entrance to the hike-n-bike and retraced my steps.
Four circuits from home to cul-de-sac to home again, almost a mile-and-a-half done. I took a few deep breaths of the moist air, and winced at the loud creak of my front door. My day of walls and windows lay ahead.