My hubby Bill and I were doing a short run beginning from our local rec center one day last week. Twice a week, we do a 5K route together, then I go to a one-hour Body Pump class and he does the elliptical and stationary bike for an hour in the fitness room.
These runs before Body Pump always seem to be rushed. We run faster than we normally would, maybe because the runs are short, or maybe because there is a time limit looming. I must be at Body Pump before 9:15.
When we run in our small town, I almost always run on the sidewalk, rather than the street. I am pretty timid when it comes to traffic, but on this particular run, I have started running in the street for part of the run, while Bill runs on the sidewalk because the sidewalks are very uneven and I don’t want to trip.
I was running in the street when we came to an intersection with a four-way stop sign. “Stop!” I called to Bill. He came to a sudden halt and asked me what the problem was. I pointed to the center of the intersection, where it looked like someone had strewn the contents of a change purse.
There were no cars around, so I stooped to gather the coins. Bill put them in his pocket for me and jingled the whole way back to the rec center.
Now, this was a fairly interesting occurrence (in my mind), but what made it even more amazing was the contents of a blog I read the previous day. Fairytales and Fitness published a blog post about keeping track of all the money you find on the street while running.
Meranda and Lacey, the sisters who write the blog, are having a summer challenge: keep track of all the money you find while running, then post on social media using the hashtags #MoneyOnTheMove or #SummerSalary. Their Twitter handles are @Fairytalesnfit and @Lacers02. If you run (or walk), you can participate.
Not only that, when I read the post, I commented to them that the night before I read the post, I dreamed about finding money.
Hmmm…so I dreamed about finding money, then I read and commented on a post about finding money, then I found a big pile of money while I was running. It seemed like the Universe was trying to tell me something, maybe “Buy a lottery ticket.”
Usually, when I need to learn a lesson, it’s more profound than “Buy a lottery ticket,” so I kept thinking about the whole series of events.
I texted my son and told him the story. His response: “Pennies from heaven.” Yes. There it was. The message from the coincidences.
“Pennies from heaven” is a little phrase I use to remind myself to slow down and look around. Beauty is everywhere, but you need to be aware, you must look for it, even stalk it.
A house wren has taken up residence behind my house. For those of you who are unaware of a house wren’s song, it is beautiful. I cannot be sad while listening to a house wren singing. It sounds like pure joy gurgles up inside him until he must let it out in a beautiful trill. Even the staid Audubon Society describes it as “a rich bubbling song“.
And yet, if I am engrossed in something important, say dusting, I can go a full 10 minutes before realizing the house wren is just outside my window singing his heart out. It is so easy to miss out on beauty.
One recent evening my grandson and I went down to splash in the creek below our house. We happily turned over rocks and threw sticks in the water. We checked his chin several times with buttercups to see if he likes butter because we wanted to be sure.
By the time we made our way back, it was almost dark. As we walked up the steep hill, I kept my eyes down, looking for groundhog holes waiting to trip me. Then I heard the five-year-old exclaim “Look, Mimi!” and I realized the fireflies were out and putting on their show. All around us little chips of light blinked on and off, illuminating the way home.
I was so worried about falling, I was missing the spectacle.
If pennies are raining down from heaven all around us, the least we can do is be willing to stand outside and catch some of them. I must squelch the hubris which makes me feel so wealthy I feel disdain for a mere penny. There is nothing on my agenda more important, no task more vital than seeing and appreciating and wondering.
Bill and I went for another run this morning. Today, I remembered to watch. I saw some beautiful salmon-colored poppies clustered near the sidewalk; I saw a brilliantly colored oriole flitting in the branches of a mulberry tree. These were my pennies from heaven. Though I found no money on the run today, I am still exceedingly rich, rewarded beyond all measure.
I am linking up with Running on the Fly and Confessions of a Mother Runner for their Weekly Rundown, Shank You Very Much for Global Blogging, Esme Salon for Senior Salon, Our World Tuesday, My Random Musings for Anything Goes, InstaEncouragements, Abounding Grace for Gracefull Tuesday, Bethere2day for Wordless Wednesday, and Random-osity for The Good, The Random, The Fun.