11.04.2008

A New Course

The 10K race was held at a local park, the scenic course winding its way around the lake like a ribbon. Back in the early days of autism this park, for me, was both a blessing and a curse. Situated halfway between my house and a friend's, the park was the perfect meeting place for an impromptu play date. Our late afternoon get-togethers served as a respite, time out of the house, away from the endless parade of therapists. Connecting with my friend punctuated those dark days with the tiniest speck of light. As much as I treasured our time together, those play dates stung. Watching my friend's children and Annie laugh and play with one another painfully highlighted Kate's deficits, leaving me defeated, without hope.

The first half of the race was a trip down memory lane of sorts, each landmark awakening a scene from a lifetime ago. The playground where Kate spun in endless circles, alone. The swing set where she threw herself to the ground, enraged that Annie occupied the swing on the right side instead of the left. The path where she bolted away from us, screaming at the top of her lungs. The spot at the edge of the lake where we threw rocks, Kate wading in the frigid water, oblivious. And finally, the bridge Kate attempted to scale only to be pulled to safety in the nick of time.

As I crossed the bridge I picked up my pace, leaving those memories behind. I rounded the bend into an area of the park I had never seen before. My legs burned as I made my way through this uncharted territory. With no memories attached to this path, I couldn't help but feel that we are on a new course, an opportunity for new memories, for new beginnings.

7 comments:

jess said...

beautiful .. such a perfect metaphor for the journey.

the path is yours (ours) to forge. we honor the pain of the past but we keep moving forward toward future that is ours (and our girls') to claim.

your writing is such a treat!

Marla said...

Very powerful. Also describes why I have begun to love running. I love the feeling of it.

Can I ask what brand of running shoes you like?

Niksmom said...

Beautiful!

Amy from Occupation: Mommy said...

I am so glad that you are sticking with your running. How great that your Mommy time is good for you, too! And what a metaphor you discovered as you ran. I think it is important to revisit those memories sometimes. She has come so far, and like you said she is on a new course now!

Lori at Spinning Yellow said...

This made me tear up! Beautiful and powerful. Running through and toward not just away, right? It is making you stronger, this path, even if it has been and still is difficult, even if it stings sometimes.

Casdok said...

I loved this post. Beautifuly written.

proud grandma said...

Beautiful....remember the past and let it go, stay in the moment and enjoy, look to the future and hope. You are an inspiring young women and a terrific mom!