Artists I admire: Mother Nature

I like to run in the snow. And I mean while it's snowing. Call me crazy. Call me reckless. Call me whatever you want. There's something about running through snow that appeals to me. I hope for the opportunity at least once each winter, and it came this morning.

When I initially woke up, I didn't think it was going to happen. I'd been planning a run for Friday morning, and then this snow materialized with a lot of wind. At 8am I thought it was way too windy and probably too slippery. I ate some breakfast, puttered around a bit with emails, and then by 10am, I decided to give it go. The wind had died down, the snow was falling at a light to moderate rate, and the trees outside my kitchen window looked beautiful. I got my running gear on and headed out.

I decided I would do my standard 5-mile route, just in case the wind kicked back up or it started to snow harder. For my NYC running friends, I run from 145th Street down to the 110th Street / Cathedral Parkway entrance to Central Park. From there I run down to 102nd Street Transverse, across to the east side and down to the 72nd Street Transverse. Back across to the west side and then down to Columbus Circle. I always finish with a coffee from Whole Foods.

As I ran down to Central Park, I encountered wet roads and some slushy spots. Overall, not so bad. St. Nicholas Park looked very pretty, but it was hard to fully take it in because I was trying to look out for icy patches under foot. I ran down Frederick Douglass Boulevard, and the northwest corner of Central Park came into view. Every tee limb, and I'm not exaggerating, was covered in snow. It was like every tree had a layer of vanilla icing, and it was perfect. I stopped at the park entrance to stretch a bit, then ran into the park onto the Harlem Hills. I ran the short uphill section, kind of in awe of what I was seeing and #grateful that I could take it in because the pavements were so clear. I rounded the corner and started up the last part of the hill and was completely overwhelmed by how beautiful it all was. Quiet, perfectly covered trees, white skies, and this sense of peace. I suddenly became very aware of what a gift I had been given this morning on that run. For a moment, I cursed myself for not running with my phone, but then I realized that no picture would capture what I was experiencing. So I just ran, taking it all in as I moved down the hill to the 102nd Street Transverse. I made the left turn and continued on my way.

The rest of the run was fine, but nothing else in the park compared to that stretch from 110th to 102nd. I'll never forget it. And to think that I almost didn't go.

Two weeks ago Mother Nature opened a can of Whoop Ass on the Mid Atlantic and showed the beauty of her power. This morning she baked a cake and frosted it with all the gentleness and care that my own mom puts into every cake, pie, and cookie she makes. For giving me one of those runs of a lifetime, Mother Nature is the artist I admire this week.