Monday, December 14, 2009

25 degrees: This Week's Running Theme

"If it were just five degrees colder!" That is what my friend Julie said to me while walking in downtown Boise. I met her in college while at Boise State University. She hailed from New Orleans and the cold weather seemed so foreign to this southern gal who had no trace of a Louisiana drawl.

Julie claimed feminism as her religion, and we together acknowledged the cardinal seasons like good aspiring pagans. We met Sunday's for breakfast. She taught me to drink French roast coffee with chicory. One morning I asked her to give me a hair cut. She had no comb or sharp scissors, but instead she used the tines of a fork and pinking shears. The zig-zag cut gave interesting texture and shape to my wavy locks, and I thought she was brilliant.

The outside temperature Julie loved the best hovered at twenty-five degrees. This last week, most every day I ran in twenty-five degree weather. Sunny, mild, cloudy, windy, dark, and at sunrise with heavy frost, my lungs breathed in cold air while I went on my daily run. Though, I did miss a day of running. It was on Tuesday when it rained about two inches. I did not feel like running in a deluge, I did not feel like running between the bands of gulf moisture, I did not feel like sopping up greasy road spray from passing cars. But, when the front passed through, twenty-five degree air, Julie's favorite temperature, found its way into my nostrils.

While running in the cold December weather, I keep thinking of Julie, my friend from twenty-five years ago. I wonder where she is, if she is still singing and playing her guitar. I wonder if she still likes the cold weather, and if she still cuts hair.