“Some problems have to be dealt with right away,” is what I said to Cyndi last Sunday morning at Katie and Drew’s house in Mansfield, one day after our sugar-and-cake overdose (also known as granddaughter Madden’s first birthday party) when I discovered I was limping around the house, which isn’t unusual for me and is typically caused by sore knees or stiff legs after a long run but this time was due to a sharp specific stabbing pain under my big toe, not a regular injury for me, and so when I pulled off my shoe I discovered a grass burr in my dress sock, which in my life means a black sock since I only buy two colors of socks, white or black, to eliminate the confusion of sorting and locating a missing member of a pair, and not only do I buy only black and white socks it is important to me that they are identical style so all I have to do in the morning is grab any two socks knowing I’ll be fine all day with none of those awkward your-socks-don’t-match-who-dressed-you moments, and besides I don’t own any clothes that don’t go with either white socks or black socks, but usually if I find a grass burr in a sock it isn’t a dress, so-to-speak, sock, but one of my running socks, especially in the winter, since when I run on the grass at the Windlands Soccer Fields the hidden grass burrs that fell to the ground during the last fall mowing are now desiccated to the point of weightlessness and they splash up onto my socks with every step, and some of the more ambitious burrs take a dive into the small space between sock and shoe that opens and closes with each footfall, and those burrs can bring me to a stop immediately since who can run with grass burrs digging into their feet, not me, but even the burrs that cling to the upper part of my sock or even the skin on my ankle quickly find purchase and I usually hope if I shake my foot between strides, an awkward action even for young lithe flat-bellies, I will fling the burrs away, only it never works to satisfaction but mainly encourages the tenacious burrs to dig in deeper and the braver burrs to dive into my shoe and join their buddies, so I have to stop right there right away and pull them out, interrupting my run, which isn’t all that great anyway but stopping always carries the risk of instant injury-onset, forcing me to limp all the way back to the gym, which I’ve had to do more than once, so I have to stop and remove the burrs because some irritants must be dealt with immediately before they make life unbearably worse.
As soon as I found that grass burr under my toe, Sunday morning at Katie’s, that is, and pulled it out and put my shoe back on, I felt much better, and that was when I realized Cyndi had stopped listening to me a long time ago and wandered off in search of a baby to hold. So I followed her into the kitchen where they were eating breakfast and Madden smiled brightly when I walked in, setting my world aright and removing all memories of grass burrs.
It turns out, some problems which seemed huge only moments before, fade away to nothing in the bright light of joy.
“I run in the path of Your commands, for You have set my heart free.” Psalm 119:32
To learn about Berry’s books, “Running With God,” go to www.runningwithgodonline.com , or “Retreating With God,” go to www.retreatingwithgod.com ,… Follow Berry on Twitter at @berrysimpson … Contact Berry directly: firstname.lastname@example.org … To post a comment or subscribe to this free journal: www.journalentries.org