The Most Beautiful Run

Yesterday I laced up my running kicks and went for a much needed run. According to my training schedule I needed to get in at least 45 minutes. In small town Iowa you can pretty much run from one end of the town to the opposite end, and back, with time to spare.
Little ol' Denison. I've driven by this sign a million times, and I never thought it was beautiful... Until now.
It's astonishing how much we take for granted when we are immersed in an environment. Before this trip home I don't think I ever really stopped to look at all the beauty that surrounded me growing up. My run yesterday opened my eyes to spectacular views. Views I'd seen over and over, but views I failed to appreciate.
The country road I traveled down.
The emerald, kelly, forest, and yellow-greens of the pastures and fields were made even more stunning by the calm, cool blue sky and pillow soft clouds.
 To one side of the road I was treated to the sweet, pungent odor of cattle. While on the other side corn stalks were 12 inches tall, reaching for the heavens, and basking in the June sun.
My legs enjoyed the change of surface. The gravel left a satisfying and hearty crunch under my feet after each stride, something I haven't heard in ages.
Let's not talk about how many attempts it took me to get this picture. Have you ever tried to photograph your feet as your running? Holy hard!
Even this big dude couldn't keep the smile off my face as I ran. But, he did manage to get a very loud scream.
I didn't realize I was about to run over a four-foot bull snake until I was practically on top of it. 
Shortly after meeting the slithery creature I decided to bid adieu to the country and make my way back to town. I couldn't help but run past my old stomping grounds... The high school. Many dramatic events took place behind those walls, but some of my fondest memories from my youth reside there.

The entry is so welcoming. Two monarch lions stand as sentinels, while the American and Iowa flags fly proudly.
No trip past the high school is complete without a quick hats off to a place where many of my best high school moments and memories were born.
In my mind the softball field is hallowed ground.
As if the scenery and memories weren't enough to make for a fabulous run, there was more. Every single person who drove by me waved at me. None of them (likely) knew me (or recognized me), but they all waved. That's what people do around here. The simplest, smallest gesture of a hand was something I didn't even know I missed, but I do. 

Did I mention the smell of grass? It seemed as if everyone was out and mowing, leaving me to gulp down the sweet aroma.

As my tour of the town was ending, I was traveling down a large hill, a hill I'd driven over, and run down countless times. It wasn't until yesterday that I was treated to the most post-card perfect picture; a picture that could easily encompass most of Iowa living.
Isn't it just beautiful?
I showed the picture to my parents and they asked where I'd taken it. They were surprised to learn the view was just atop the hill they live on. 
As I returned home I thanked God for opening my eyes to so much that I'd missed for so many years. 


  1. What great pictures!!! Looks absolutely beautiful where you are!

  2. Love the post... great pictures!

  3. Beautiful run! I'm pretty sure they would have found me dead of a heart attack had I come up on that snake. ::::SHIVERS::::

  4. Great pictures! And I would have totally had a number two or heart attack if I saw that snake. I once saw a snake skin in my back yard while mowing and haven't been back since. I think that was in like 2007. So, yeah... Snakes scare the crap out of me!!!

  5. I'm glad you had a great run with awesome pictures.

  6. Pretty! It's true ---when I moved back to my hometown area after 5 years living somewhere else I couldn't get over how pretty our mainstreet was! :-) I had never thought much of it before.

  7. Such a pretty run! Sure beats houses and being chased by random dogs! :)

    Hope you are having a wonderful time!


  8. I love this! :)

  9. Wow Desiree. You are making me homesick! I also grew up in a small town with lots of farmland where people would wave to you even though they don't know you. I definitely can't say the same thing about where I live now!

    And geez! Give a girl a little warning about there being a snake picture! I'm absolutely terrified of snakes. To the point where I can't even look at pictures of them. Ick!

  10. Beautiful. Oh the things we take for granted.
    I never knew Denison was that hilly - I'm in flat central Iowa.

  11. Those are definitely beautiful images...and you described them so well. I love how small towns are. Here in the Keys its the same mentality. We are so far off the mainland that its a small town and each Key is an even smaller town. I know when I go running I too get the waves and nods from strangers. Even walking into the grocery store its the same way. I love it and I'm so glad to be surrounded by it and the nature that is around me. Can't wait to get back to running to enjoy it!

  12. wonderful. see... all the more reason to move back! :)

  13. the grass is so green and plush! beautiful!

  14. So beautiful... minus the bull snake...

  15. love this post friend. Funny how we appreciate things, especially things about our hometowns so differently as we get older. Love all the pictures. Enjoy your visit!

  16. what a good run!! those pictures are so pretty!

  17. Have totally been to Denison before :) and that looks like a great run! I love running on gravel and it is so much better for you instead of pavement. That is something I would totally do ..trying to catch a picture of me running ;)

  18. So beautiful! You are so right. When you live somewhere and see the same thing over and over it's easy to not see all the beauty that surrounds you.

    I completely have tried to take a picture of my legs while running. SO hard!

  19. Lovely pics - except for the snake = I hate them - so glad we don't have any here in New Zealand. Cheers