it was snowing.
large, light-filled flakes swirled through the streetlight beams. they came to rest on the road, covered cracks and tracks and seams, and fell silent.
we stood there, waiting for the others, hoping there would be more than the five of us tonight, running endless circles around a neighbourhood i would never call home. it had a good hill, though, and not too much traffic despite rush-hour and mansions stretching along the street. the repeats would be straightforward. i left the girls to stand and stay warm while i jogged back to look for a dropped light.
and then the whole group came. there were over 25 runners at some point, all in various moods and thoughts, all about the snow or the winter or the miles run and not run. we were so glad to see each other, we had to work to stifle our enthusiastic gabble, and listen to the workout. then we took off, in warm-up drills and a motley group skipping down a downy white hill, laughing with the silliness of all this running in all this snow in all of our eyes and mouths.
it was a flood, of sorts.
and then we started in earnest, slipping up the short steep to crest the hill and careen down the long descent, slipping here and there, jockeying speed against safety, dancing with disaster. they were double loops, so we had a second chance, every time, to push a little harder, to find a better line. the kid took off and we didn't see him again. the beautiful man and i edged against each other and then back away, searching, searching for traction. i was giddy with the pursuit. i had no legs. i had no speed or puff of breath against the torrent of beautiful white snow. and there was nowhere to plant a foot without slipping.
so we went. and i looked back at some point to find my friend, and i yelled, 'PURCHASE!' i could not find any, for the life of me, and i think he replied the same, his words lost in exhalation and swirling snow. we ran on, telling stories, revelling in the night, running slipshod over old ideas and ridiculous worries. we ran on, steaming into snowflakes, slippery and clean.