Got in my run this morning, it was an amazing time. The monarch butterflies have begun their migration, and Wichita Falls is seeing them in bunches. I quit counting as I approached the 4 dozen count while running the Lake Wichita trail. The trail was alive with beauty as the monarchs flitted around, while Canada geese honked as they passed overhead.
Some days, it's been difficult for me to run down to the lakeside. On our first trip to Wichita Falls in 1991, Lake Wichita was our first stop. We bought our house knowing it was close by. And when the city contemplated draining the lake, a study committee was formed---Mark was one of the original members. To make a long story short, the lake was not drained, just reduced in size & depth. A new spillway & dam were built. And a concrete trail runs alongside it, passing through some beautiful native areas.
We took our sons on that trail as babies, first carried in backpacks, then in strollers. Strollers progressed to a two-seated wagon, and then they began to ride scooters & bikes. Mark sampled that lake on a regular basis. Hence, the difficulty for me in approaching its waters. But today, I felt up to it. I jogged the extra quarter mile to gain a perfect vantage point on a bench nearby.
The sun was shining brightly, and there was just enough wind to make the water choppy. Choppy water and bright sunlight equal glowing, shimmery beauty--it looked like a million little mirrors all bobbing around on the surface. I hit the "pause" button on my running app, stretched back on the bench, and just soaked it all in. It is so quiet and peaceful there. I'm continually amazed that more folks don't take advantage of it.
After 10 minutes of basking in God's beauty here in Wichita Falls, I reluctantly got up, hit the "play" button, and headed back to the house. I had a lunch invitation from another old friend, and needed to get ready for that. With all of these lovely invitations, I may gain back the weight I've lost on my "grief diet" these past two months.
My friend, a fellow Kentucky native, is someone I met soon after moving to WF. Although we don't see each other on a regular basis, we always seem to re-connect easily whenever we run into each other. She's a facebook friend, and graciously offered her home to our families during their stint in town during Mark's services. The lunch was lovely, the conversation meaningful, and I left knowing that I had another powerful prayer warrior in my corner.
The boys & I are so lucky in so many ways. The number of friends praying for us on a daily basis is a mystery to me, but I know in my heart there must be many. And for every "old" friend that's praying for us, there's a new one doing the same. I've decided that in God's family, friends are just simply friends. Doesn't matter if you've known them 40 years or 4 months....all are precious, all love you, and all will pray for you. We're part of a brotherhood & sisterhood, in training here on earth for that heavenly time when we find ourselves members of one big family.
Tomorrow, I'll head back to my preschool to substitute teach for the first time this school year. Yet another "first" that may be hard as I walk into the building. But since most of the students in the class were mine last year, I'm looking forward to seeing how they've grown & changed. And I'm hoping they have lots of hugs ready for "Ms. Nancy"....'cause that's one thing I can't get enough of these days.