You can see them every day. In fact, by not looking your will often recall them after they have passed, even though at the time you thought...isn't this...special.
There are larger ones. I often see losing my foot to be able to run again as something that fits this size. But there are smaller ones, many I have seen, and wonder how many I may have missed.
One happened to me at the track after an early morning workout. As I finished up and began my walk down lane 8 to my vehicle, I noticed small birds on the chain link fence. Not just sitting there, but as I walked they flitted and moved down the fence, following me. There was a connection, a bridge, these little birds following me. I now have birdseed in my backpack, so next time they can have breakfast.
For the past couple of years I have been noticing something unusual. When life took a downturn as it invariably does, when circumstances beyond our reach to change things conspire to deter our best efforts, I knew I could expect something good to happen. Something that would restore my faith. Something that made me think...out of this chaos there is a design. All is chance and nothing is. And if you look and listen, you will be told.
With my recent injury, two things happened that make me decide to write this post.
Readers of my blog know what running means to me. Running was me as a child, I never made a distinction where one started and the other ended. Even now, I can be driving to work, and look at the side of the road, I see myself running. To me running is the affirmation of life, the physical self in flight, pure abstract freedom.
Running is me, I am running.
So now that this knee injury threatens to end my dream of running the Boston Marathon, I'm sure you can understand why I would be distraught. In fact, through my entire amputation journey, I don't think the blues hit me as hard as now. Every day I think of this race, of how it will be to stand on that starting line, how as a runner there can be no higher calling. And how it could end, perhaps because of a miniscule tear in the meniscus. Without a foot I can run, but with a torn meniscus running becomes a thing of pain again, and the joy goes up in a vapor trail.
So I've been feeling down, feeling my fitness slip away, watching much needed training days pass without one step forward. I am very much in a state of purgatory, not knowing what my future will be. I recognized the feeling of descent, growing quiet. Time to listen.
And then last night, as I was preparing for sleep, I received an email. Someone thanked me for this blog, for helping them understand what a loved one was going through. The closing was this: God bless you.
Then today I told friends I was having my MRI tomorrow, and through the messages Carol Kurpiel, adoptive (in definition only) mother of Ashley wished me well. She made me think of how minor my issue was, how any such pain made daughter Ashley panic and wonder if it would mean a complete end to part of her mobility.
Then the second little miracle happened.
One of my Twitter friends, Lori Jomsky, made a generous donation to the IFOPA on my FirstGiving site. This completely overwhelmed my emotions. I had been wondering if I would even be able to make it to the starting line of the Boston Marathon, and here someone without any current posts on my part asking for help, made a donation. It was more than a donation.
It was a small miracle.
These things happen to me most every day. I do not always see them at the time, but I know if I listen, if I look closely, if I remember, I will see them.
You can see them too, these small miracles. They are real, they are not magic.
They are life, and a part of all of us. We can each make them happen, and we can all experience the little miracles that make up every day.
You can make one happen.