Before I get to the meat of my post, can I just say that I have come to LOVE running? It has become a necessary part of my life. This winter semester, I have been brutally forced to run indoors on the treadmill because of the consecutive days of below freezing weather ... but things have been turning around lately.
The beautiful, 55 degree weather of Rexburg allowed me to run outside today.
I usually leave the house without having much of an idea where I want to run. Rexburg is only a couple of miles in diameter, so there aren't a ton of ways to get lost or in harms way. Today, I found myself gravitating toward Nature Park. This is a beautifully secluded part of town (even more than the rest of it, surprisingly). As its name suggests, Nature Park is nature with a sidewalk cut through it.
I can remember the times that I have been to Nature Park in the past almost eight months (!) that I have been at school.
The first was on a run with one of my friends from the mission.
The second was with my first college boyfriend, as we sat on a bench and talked about nothing significant.
The third was the first "warm" day of the "spring" ... warm being 40 degrees. In my insanity, I ran there with a short-sleeved tee-shirt. Living in Idaho will do that to you.
And the fourth was today.
As I ran around the park, I came to the park bench where visit number two took place. I came to an abrupt halt in front of the bench and felt the overwhelming desire to sit down and look out over the pond that lay in front of it.
So I sat down.
I can't exactly explain the feeling that I felt as I sat down, but I can try to explain what it wasn't. It wasn't de-ja-vu, but it was just as stirring. It wasn't nostalgia ... because there was nothing really extraordinary about any encounter that I had in that park.
It was the beginning of revelation. As I looked out at that same duck pond on the same bench that I sat on almost six months ago, I realized how constant the change of the world is. The seasons change when they're supposed to (well ... I guess that is debatable in Rexburg ... but I digress). The ducks flee when they begin to feel the chill of winter and come back at the first sign of warmer weather. Nature Park has been the same for years and will continue without change for years to come.
The place hadn't changed. But I had.
As I sat on that bench, I thought back on my time in Rexburg and was stunned by the amount of personal growth and life lessons that Heavenly Father has packed into my experience. I lived my life out here, and I think I lived it pretty well. I was refined in my education. I was refined socially and spiritually. I worked hard to control my finances.
I hate to say it, but I think in the past two semesters, I have grown closer to being an actual adult. It's been pretty gradual and I still have a whole lot of life experience to have before I can officially drop the young from my young adult status, but the need to leave behind the things of my past and push forward into exciting new territory is becoming more and more obvious. Sometimes that future is scary and hard, but other times it is full of happiness and love ... and EVERY SECOND is worth living.
Each second gives me the chance to change and grow and develop. There is nothing more exhilarating than that! I hope that the weather will be beautiful when I return to Rexburg in the fall. I hope to return to that same bench in Nature Park and to feel the same amazement as I look at the local family of ducks. I am sure that the place will be no different ... but I have hope that I will.