As incredible as it is waking up each morning in Paris, the words that come to my mind describing the City of Light are gray, grey, ashen, muted, drab, leaden, and cinereal…Every. Single. Day. I can tell there are clouds up there in the sky, so there is some definition, and with that, hope they will blow over. But it is gray, gray, gray. This Arizona gal is having a really hard time with the color. The cold is fine. The wind, not my favorite, but it puts a bite in the air reminding us it is soon to be winter. The dark (also not my favorite) reminds me that in my book, it IS winter.
So what am I doing about this? I cannot change the sky. I cannot bring the sun out~though I have looked at day flights to warmer, sunnier places south of here. I just need to get out and deal with it. “Suck it up, Buttercup” comes to mind.
With that mantra, I headed out on a run around the park near our house. I had my running tights with a super cute skirt, decorated with colorful confetti. I had my turquoise running shirt (matched the skirt) and my cross between lime and any color of the green tertiary colors, pullover. I had a bright blue band in my hair and a new attitude as I hit the pavement. I looked like a child who just learned to dress herself, but was going to fight the gray with all my rainbow superpowers.
I ran around the 1km loop, slowly at first and then finding my groove. There were many others who had the same idea (or more dedication) and I was happy to be among them. For that half hour, it seemed like I was really here, part of this city I now call home. Most of the other runners were dressed in black from head to toe. One (which is why I wrote, “most”) had all black with a peach stripe down his jacket. I decided to use him as a pacer. Give me color!
I failed to mention (though you already know) that with this gray atmosphere and heavier clouds comes water from the sky. Often. The little path we were using was plagued with puddles. And mud. And yuck. By the time I finished my laps (and silently said, “au revoir” to my secret pacer), I was coated in mud, wet leaves, murky water and sweat. This Buttercup looked rather wilted and marred but I was the happiest I’d been all week! I love you, bright happy colors against a gray background! I love you feet (and thankfully, knees and hips) that let me run my little heart out! I love you endorphins!
Even with the gray infiltrating into my mood, graces are there. To be able to recognize the dark and heavy brume and do something about it. I know there are many who really can’t get past just recognizing the drab. Graces in not feeling alone as I plugged away on the path. Graces in exhilaration, following my run. I was energized, even temporarily. I was just happy…and looking forward to doing it again the next day.
I got home and peeled the dirty clothes and shoes off. As I hopped in the shower, I imagined how great it will be to run in the sunshine here (yes, maybe I am getting a wee too optimistic about the Parisian weather). Drying off, I grabbed my favorite pair of black leggings, black socks and my worn out gray sweatshirt…and thought, “I guess I am becoming a Parisian bit by bit.”