The message wasn’t for me, but I heard it anyway.
I wasn’t even paying particular attention, like I usually do, on the lookout for that thing that catches my eye and my fancy. When I run, I scan the path, the road, the cars, the horizon for that little glimmer of humanity that turns my mind from the huffing and puffing to an imaginary place where my cardiovascular health isn’t the only thing I can focus on.
Sometimes, it’s the homeless person dragging her bags along. Sometimes, its a swing hoisted up and over a bridge, smack in the middle of nowhere. Sometimes, the leaves and the sun shift in ways that turn my imagination to better thoughts than how much farther.
I was huffing up a rather unimpressive incline, trying to decide if I could manage that and a sip of water water at the same time. If not for the man running in the opposite direction, backlit by the sun glinting over his shoulder, I don’t think I’d have cast my gaze to the stone stairs; they weren’t where I was going, and I always always keep my eyes focused on where I’m going-at least when I’m running.
And there it was, the little message:
I WILL LOVE YOU EVERY STEP OF THE WAY
Perfect hand lettering on the craggy disproportions of the stone, rays of light perfectly illuminating both the message and the path. If one believed in signs…
I don’t know who wrote it or for whom. I don’t even know if they meant to be witty and wry.
I stopped and snapped a shot. And then, my own steps started again, over the gravel, up the hill, around the bend and along the river. My own steps on my own path, toward and with the people who have already loved me on so many steps, who will continue to love me.