I crawled inside the soft spots of people I care about this week.
You know the spots I mean, don’t you? The spots that feel like the warmest hug, best laugh, and ability to make a girl both think MORE while unwinding.
These people I love are all pieces of thread that make up a giant, warm blanket when pulled together. And I may not know where all the pieces go, or why I want them, but my blanket is made stronger, and better with these threads.
That’s the beauty of friends, the excellent, real ones, know when you just need to crawl inside to take a breather — the kind of breather that includes running (hard) up steep hills and running (easy) over the river where your oars slapped the water every day for four years.
They know a breather always includes hugs and coffee and laughing so hard you snort. And getting lost (and Jess wearing the shirt to remind me I did as much) just so you can find yourself again and say, “ah yes, I knew that’s where I was.”
Home is where my feet anticipate the ruts in the road on my favorite running path a half-stride before I run over them.
Home is where the ladies of Rosie’s stand waiting outside in the cold to greet you with the biggest smiles, fist bumps, hugs, and BIGGEST teasing for the smallest member in their ranks.
Home is where a visit to my favorite coffee place means I MUST stop and say hello to a friend who works next door.
Home is being able to ask #Bap what, exactly, does one climb after Kilimanjaro? Home is making Laura giggle hard enough we catch each other’s eyes and I see how her nose crinkles when we really laugh. And how that makes me snort-laugh every. single. time.
It’s running with someone who had a terrible injury and is so very strong (even if he is a Browns fan).
It’s coffee where I could ask you questions for hours, and somehow, I don’t think you’d mind at all.
It’s where I know all the sounds in the middle of the night.
Where it’s OK to unravel, and run slowly, just so you can breathe and take it all in.
Home is where you realize, yes, you’re running for a charity, but you’re finally, actually, truly running for yourself.
Home is putting your arms around a city you love, the people you love, the sounds and smells you love, the words and patterns that are comforting and familiar you love and just not letting go.
Even when you leave.
Home stays with you.
In all the small moments that rubbed off.
In the grit and the grime, sweat and smiles.
You can always go home.