While on a 7-mile run this morning, I chased shade up and down the streets of Ashland Park. The area is an early 20th century residential neighborhood with primarily single-family homes developed around the gorgeous Henry Clay Estate, a National Historic Landmark.
The development was designed to include an abundance of large shade trees, green space and curving streets with few right angled intersections. If you get lost, you’re in trouble. Today, I did, but quickly found my way out. There’s a wide variety of architectural styles, which makes this area a prime route for runners. It’s full of beautiful homes and extraordinary landscaping.
The thought that I was chasing shade kept percolating while I was running. I didn’t think past the literal meaning—searching for protection from the sun—until much later. After I’d stretched and cooled down, I realized that I’m probably always chasing shade in some form or another.
My office is a shady place. It has plenty of light and a great view of the tree line and creek in the back yard, but it’s shady in the sense that a canopy of protection floats over the space. My books and pictures, mementos and running medals fill the room with a sense of who I am. I’m comfortable and happy working at my desk. I chase it with joy first thing in the morning.
Yes, my room is my shady place, and I’d wilt from the heat of commitments and deadlines if I didn’t have it, much like I would have wilted during my run without those big, old trees in Ashland Park.
Where is your shady place? Do you get out of sorts if you don’t spend time there? Do you protect it as much as it protects you? I hope you stay cool there.
Happy writing and running, Kathy