There is something deeply personal about a gloomy day. Wet, cold, and cloudy days are the days that make us long for a book and a fireplace. Or dinner at home, under a warm blanket and perched in front of the TV. We spend time by ourselves or with somebody close to us on days like this.
Today, I went for a long run along Lake Michigan. There were far fewer people on the lakefront than usual. On a sunny day, or even just a pleasant one, I would cross paths with thousands of people while running that far. Today I was out for nearly three hours and I crossed paths with fewer than twenty souls. But I felt a sense of kinship with those few that I've never felt with a crowd. I saw no groups of people. There were rarely even couples. Most of the people that I saw were by themselves. Out for a walk or a run. Some just sitting and looking at the lake. Many of the waves were ten feet high. Some of them crashed onto the boardwalk head on and sprayed water twenty or thirty feet in the air, while others came in at an angle and broke along the riveted sides of the seawall with a machine gun's cadence. I saw a man take his dog of the leash and let him sprint along the edge of the water, filled with the energy of the lake that had come alive and was putting on a show for the few that would come to see it.
Some of the people that I passed, looked my way. With those people I would exchange a knowing smile. We had something out there, and we knew it. Our own secret beauty. And others stared ahead, content to stay in their own thoughts. Their journey along the stormy lake didn't include me, or anybody else that was out there today. But they were a part of mine.
I'm home now. I'm warm and dry. My apartment is quiet. There is an old cat in my lap. And I have a sense of peace that often follows a long run. My girlfriend is braving the elements right now, as she makes her way here. She is cooking dinner tonight. When we're done eating, I'll clean. Then we'll spend the rest of the evening under a blanket.
Tomorrow I'll go back into the crowded, noisy, busy city. But for now I am right here. And its wonderful.