Home is where

My coffee is set at night, freshly brewed and waiting for me at 6am.  A back-up bottle of my favorite French Vanilla creamer is always in the fridge, and I still drink from the Van Gogh Sunflowers mug that my husband gave me 18 years ago

My running clothes take up their own multiple designated drawers; skorts, sports bras, shorts, and shirts in a rainbow of colors.  My running shoes are waiting in the closet to see which one of them gets taken out next

I can navigate in the pitch dark based on feel, and not miss the absence of the most treasured of my 5 senses

I can run out my door without a Garmin and know my distance based on landmarks I’ve passed hundreds of times

I can feel my children still asleep in their beds, recognizing each one by the pattern of their breathing.  I know which one is coming down by the sound of each one’s footsteps on the hardwood stairs

A bottle of my favorite white and rose are always chilled in the fridge, my favorite reds are in the bar patiently waiting for Fall

I know how many minutes and seconds it will take before the shower water is warm, and can rely on the water pressure to be just perfect

I pass the same early risers at the coffee shop and juice bar.  I see the same dog-walkers on each run, knowing which ones will courteously usher their pet out of my way

If I am running later at 9 am, I’m sure to pass Lady In Red, and we now regularly give each other a smile and a wave

I know I can quench my thirst at the water fountain at mile 3.67, or if I’m taking the longer route, fill my water bottle at mile 8.67

My laptop is charged and ready with my morning coffee, with new posts from bloggers I follow waiting like unopened letters in my inbox

I know where the sprinklers have created puddles overnight, and I can jump over or through them depending on my mood

I can run my favorite route and completely lose myself in it without worrying about actually getting lost.  Even if I’m put in a bag like a stray cat and swung around a few times and tossed a few streets over, I’ll find my way back,….not needing to rely on google maps…. or an exhausted hypoglycemic teary phone call to my husband telling him to stay on the phone and navigate me back turn by turn

Where I’ve had my first rain run, my first good cry run, my first mental orgasm, trained for my first race, conquered my first hills, and found myself on the run

Where despite having run through fog in San Francisco’s Presidio, humidity on the Brooklyn Bridge, drizzle in Hyde Park, and over cobblestone and bridges in Rome, Florence, and Venice; every cell in my body does its favorite happy dance on each home run

Where I feel the most peaceful, secure, content, ….the most grateful, both on and off my run

*This post was originally published on 6/16/15.

Paria Hassouri