Dear Washington Sun,
Pulleaseh! You’ve got to stop flashing us up here! It makes me boast so boldly about you that people may turn Egyptian on me. Seriously.
For example, on your third day (in a row, might I add–wherever did you learn how to do that?) Heather and I (yes, I know, Heather doesn’t live in our state, but she lives in my heart, alright?) couldn’t possibly hack the four walls of the gym while you were out baring yourself to the valley. We decided to hightail to the top of our local peak, Little Mountain.
The trail was muddy (I blame you for this, since you had been absent for so long, but really, I don’t mind mud) and clodded our shoes’ treads. We climbed up, up and up the narrow path, the tall pines throwing their five o’clock shadow about. (I don’t think you ever make an appearance on this portion of the trail. Maybe early morning, just after your coffee? I know, those trees have a nasty easement policy.) At the end of the first climb, Heather and I turned on the new Shakira we downloaded, and picked up the pace, darting across the one flat part of the trail. Though you were out, you must not have been too strong, as glints of ice glazed the leaves and rocks.
Heather wound her way up the switchbacks first, and I knew we thought the same thing: how the grade was just right, how they are long and loopy like a school girl’s curls, how they almost pull you up them, tease you higher and higher, without ever really knowing.
Close to the top of the mountain, I cued the new Usher track, “More,” to play at least a gazillion times:
Watch me as I dance under the spotlight-
Listen to the people screaming out more and more,
‘Coz I create the feeling that keep ’em coming back,
Yeah, I create the feeling that keep ’em coming back,
So captivating when I get it on the floor.
Know y’all been patiently waiting, I know you need me, I can feel it,
I’m a beast, I’m an animal, I’m that monster in the mirror,
The headliner, finisher, I’m the closer, winner.
Best when under pressure one second’s left I show up.
If you really want more, scream it out louder,
If you’re on the floor, bring out the fire,
And light it up, take it up higher,
Gonna push it to the limit, give it more.
Get up both your hands, I’m in the zone, tight!
Put ’em in the air, if you want more (and) more,
Cos I can’t wait to feel it.
I go hard, can’t stop,
But if I stop then just know that imma bring it back,
Never quittin’ on believin’ that.
And then Heather and I found ourselves at the top, gazing across Interstate 5, across the Puget Sound, across the San Juan Islands and more sound, to the jagged, snow-capped Olympics. And there you were, Sun: you were the beast, an animal, that monster in the mirror, the headliner, finisher, the closer, winner. We could see all the way to Rainer, and damn it, I wanted MORE.
We wanted to make it down before you sank into the Pacific, and, renewed by the sights you revealed, we jammed like cheetahs down the switchbacks. I found myself following Usher’s directives: “Get up both your hands, I’m in the zone, tight! Put ’em in the air, if you want more and more.” I feared someone other than Heather would see me charging downhill, my fist pumping wildly in the air, my skin freshly saturated with vitamin D. God, Sun, you turn us into raving lunatics.
So, dear Sun, it was nice seeing you while you lasted. Thanks for making Running With Heather special this week. I’ve got total faith in your re-emergence. Just like Britany, all stars need time to recoup and rehab. After all, “But if I stop then just know that imma bring it back, Never quittin’ on believin’ that.” (And yes, Sun, I’ll disregard Usher’s inaccurate use of a preposition on your behalf. This once.)
Hope to see you soon,