“Magic beans, baby. Magic beans.”
— the prophet barack obama
A blank running log. A road stretching out with no end in sight. Hope on the horizon.
You ponder making a New Year’s Resolution. Sure, you never came anywhere close to keeping the past 63. But maybe This Year Will Be Different.
What is it about January 1 that makes us evaluate our lives, reassess things, pretend we can change? An exercise in futility is still exercise, I suppose.
You consider the possibilities as the day goes by. Through the 3 miles on the canal, trudging along at chemo pace. While nervously trying to get your friend’s attention through the outside window at the rehab center as she sleeps. At least you hope she’s sleeping. She hasn’t touched her pie, but the joint is locked down because of COVID, so you can’t steal it. You add it to your mental checklist of reasons you hated 2020.
The hours march by too quickly. And then, the day is almost over, the chance for a clean slate for a new year slipping past. What to do? Running resolutions are a pipe dream. Be a better person? That seems like a lot of work.
But then, Mo wants to go see the stars. So you drive out on US 87 to a little spot an hour out of town.
As you step out of the car in the tiny area made for stargazers and crack deals, you barely contain a gasp. The stellar panorama goes on forever. So many stars. The Boscoe Bob, the Trenchcoat, the Flamingo Frenzy. Yes, you dropped out of Boy Scouts before learning the proper names of the constellations. Whatever. The sky is glorious nonetheless.
You stand in the icy darkness in your shorts and T-shirt, braving the bone-chilling 58 degree weather. Lordy, you hate chilly bones.
And you realize.
It’s not about a new year. It’s about somewhere between an eternity and a day.
You can’t do much in a year. The universe won’t notice it at all, a nanosecond on the cosmic stopwatch. But a day? A day is something you can work with.
So you make your resolution. You will celebrate the coming day. Walk or run or sashay as best as the running gods will allow. Put out a few newspapers, pretending “Florida” is a real place. Eat pie. Take care of your friends, and know they will take care of you. Life is a team sport. Take nothing for granted.
Run the mile you’re in, the old saying goes. Maybe that goes for life as well. Dancing in our heads, the prophet Ani said. It’s all about dancing in our heads.
Make tomorrow the best day you can. Don’t look too far past that. Except maybe for magic beans. Never turn down a magic bean. Or pie.
Celebrate life. One day at a time. Best resolution ever.
Bud don’t forget about the pie.