I try to stay aware of the pending weather. Emphasis on 'try'. Even when successful, I suffer from another affliction - forgetfulness. Last evening I was up late enough to catch the late evening news before turning the TV off. I left the quiet confines of our living room where I had been reading peacefully while enjoying a fine ale. It was late and running was on schedule for the morning. So I headed to the bedroom where I would resume a bit of reading before drifting off into the unconsciousness.
The remote was in my hand and about to be used to power off the tube, frequently left on in the bedroom, when something attracted my attention. The man on the screen caught some background thoughts in my mind, a sense of familiarity; I was unable to not watch. It was Steve Horstmeyer of the Channel 19 news, the weatherman, Fox XIX personality, and an acquaintance from my past. (I used to nod good morning to him as he was setting up for the early morning broadcasts out on Fountain Square as I crossed between the cameras and he, on my way to work, at 5/3 bank, IT department, 23rd floor.)
Steve Horstmeyer has always reminded me of another Steve, Steve Hoekzema. Steve Hoekzema is the father of my former number one cross country runner, Julianne Hoekzema, now Knapp. Anyway, there is this explanation regarding my subconscious locking onto the TV screen.
As I recall the forecast was pleasant enough for running with one added quality, not rare but uncommon, that went noted, but in this case, unremembered. I had completely forgotten the entire episode of the prior evening by this morning and was thus prompted to rechecking the weather on my iPhone while dressing to run. By this time I was comfortably unconcerned with the mild temperature, lack of wind, and zero precipitation. I prepared to run 'naked' and went on with my routine. One that ran over by a minute or so, due to needs that I will spare you of details.
In order to fulfill the time element of the understood contract I have with my running mate, Steve Smith, I hustled out the door and rapidly jaunted across my lawn, selecting the shortest distance to make our morning rendezvous. It was then that the series of events occurred that jostled my memory and led to this rather long explanation of a yet to be mentioned experience.
Immediately, I sensed my feet were getting wet. Quite wet. The grass was saturated with the morning dew. The sky seemed overcast. I searched for Steve, but did not see him. Good. I had not held us up.
But then there he was, stooped over, tying his shoes. He always is tying his shoes, as if it is something that just came up unexpectantly. But how did he appear so suddenly? Aha! There's fog. And that is what Steve Horstmeyer had said there'd be. Dense fog.
As we ran down the Boulevard I noted that we could not see a thing past the cars on the highway. And things do indeed reside in normal view immediately across the lanes of OH128. We both acknowledged that we must be more alert than even usual, as the traffic will not readily notice us, and certainly, with far less warning if they do.
We survived the foggy run along our most dangerous stretch and 1.5 miles later were running on the bike path underneath the High/Main bridge, looping counter clockwise up to street level, bringing the East-side of town into frame, and a view of the bridge. And here is why you have read all of the above:
The view of the bridge was as a painting. For just a moment, we were observing a beautiful structure, under perfect conditions. This bridge, only a few years old, is a modern architectural classic. Full of gingerbread and ornateness, it stands out under normal conditions. But for a few seconds this morning, in a dense fog it was picture perfect, museum quality, Disneyland worthy. From where we observed, a little lower than street level, and from a diagonal, there was not a car in sight, just the structure, the river, the geese and ducks, the fog, the sculptures, the manicured lawn, the flowers, the lamp posts; It was like a dream. The archways melted into the whiteness. It had no end. There was no far side. It could have been a painting of Paris along the Seine. It was Monet-esque; only I understood it. It was one of those moments that make all others worthwhile; a time that a camera would find its purpose. But now, only my mind and words can capture what a flash drive did not.
As we continue to round the curving walkway up to the top, in view comes the traffic, the sky, and buildings from across the way. It was almost as if there were no sounds but that of nature, then the hubbub came into awareness. And on we ran. And the dream was over. But there is more.
A quarter mile later, we were crossing in front of the Marriot and through the parking lot between it and St. Julie’s. Another, not lessor, but different, image presented itself. Running more or less directly towards it, I did not have to look away and so, this time I just stared and imagined how I might have framed it in a picture. It was the tower of St. Stephen’s Church (now St. Julie’s Parish.)
The sun had risen 30° or so in the sky. It was burning through the thick-thick fog. It hung like a giant incandescent lamp just to the right and below the top of St. Stephen’s steeple. Although the sun penetrated, nothing else but the church’s tall Gothic arms were visible, back-lit in this frame, adding grays I cannot describe, and hope to never forget. It was the most beautiful I have noticed this structure ever being. Its copper green domed top, with spiked corners, clock faces, and matching end spires, stood out in faded view. Shadows blended into whiteness. The cross hung magically without noticeable support in the sky over the top of the tower. My mother would insist it was as God intended. I do not propose to know God’s intentions, but I appreciate his work.
The run was good.