There are two types of sun in Montana. First the yellow sun. This is the best type of sun. The atmosphere is warm. It could be 10 degrees outdoors, but it wouldn’t matter because that yellow warms the soul. Then there is the gray sun. This is the sun that is obscured by clouds and sometimes the “s” word which is also known as snow. The difficulty with this winter wasn’t the cold, it was the absence of the yellow sun.
I know because one time I went out for a run when the sun was yellow. Oblivious of the phenomenon, my eager self went out into 20 degrees in a short sleeved t-shirt and basketball shorts. My mind was sure the weather was pleasant, the body informed us otherwise.
The yellow sun days have been fleeting and far between until this week. Last Saturday was the first appearance. Of course there was a natural hesitance at being excited. This yellow sun can be tricky. Like the time I saw the sun, put on the running shoes to be greeted with snowfall. And, yes I still am bitter. So we kept quiet about it. Maybe if it doesn’t think we notice, it’ll stick around. It did. Sunday was another yellow sun day.
Daylight savings, yellow sun. You know what that means? Yes, it’s spring. I went to the boxes pulled out an assortment of seeds and started dreaming of a kinder more colorful world. Then the voices of experienced Montanans said, “It’s a trick. It always snows in April.” For now the seeds sit on the shelf as a reminder that the days will be longer, brighter and more colorful.
In the meantime, what do we do? Try the running shoe test. Monday, the first day I felt the most painful three miles in my life. The treadmill at a number 2 incline is nothing compared to the prairie that somehow became Mount Kilimanjaro outside my front door. The shock was so severe the first fifteen minutes involved contemplation of giving up running and making nice with the winter weight that came with that gray sun. And, I tell you now, if I didn’t have children who remember that their mother has a goal of running a half marathon to guilt me into sticking with it, that may have happened.
Tuesday was a three mile walk. And guess what, the yellow sun was there! This is three days in a row. I’m thinking that sun just may stick around for a while. And so a great idea blossomed. On Thursday, let’s run to a friend’s house. The nearest friend was three miles away. So she said. My mind said, it might actually be closer the 3.5 miles. What’s an extra half mile?
Phone calls happened, plans for lunch were made. Calls to confirm plans and offers of encouragement in the way of, “I can pick you up in the car if you need it,” took place.
And I ran. And ran. And ran some more. Two things happened. Literally my mile splits went down by a minute. There’s something about the friend at the end of the journey that loosened the creaky joints. The other thing is, my friend moved her house. The GPS on my Runkeeper apps said three miles and her house was still a small dot on the horizon. We get to 3.5 and it’s starting to look like a house. At four miles we are at the beginning of the .25 mile driveway. By the time I got to her front door my preworkout protein drink was beyond depleted.
She was happy to see me. I was almost in tears happy to see her. When my wits returneed, I happily advised her of the miscalculation of the distance on her part. She said, ”Oh I knew that, I thought you could use a little push to make you go further.”
She knew it? She knew it. I took one look at her and laughed. In the midst of this age of growth life has blessed me with friends that know how and when to push me to the next level. They listen to my complaints when the sun is gray and shrink miles and running paces when the sun is yellow. I am coming into the knowledge that with friends like these, if you allow it, the sun has the possibility of always being yellow.
And so I close wishing for you lots of yellow sun, or people in your life that can help you change it into becoming one.