Friday, June 15, 2007

Looking for signs

My Grandmother, the one I told you about recently, passed away yesterday morning.
I was thinking about her all day today, about what constitutes a "life" and what remains after one has gone.

I left for my daily run a little later than usual and when I arrived at my route, it was 9:00pm. The ground was wet from a big storm that had been battering the Osaka region all day, but the storm had stopped by the time I arrived it was humid and sprinkling lightly. In the dark the lights from the nearby houses and apartments reflected off the glassy lake. I began on my first loop of my usual 3k track.

I was still thinking about my grandmother and sort of wishing that she would be able to show me a sign that everything would be alright. As soon as I started I noticed a group of ten or so tiny bats swirling and swooping just above and around my head. Was this a sign?

I was not yet into the 2km when a weasel dashed across my path, this has never happened to me before. Was this a sign?

On my second loop I noticed how calm and quiet it was, not a soul around. Was this a sign?

On the final loop not yet seeing a ghostly vision I started to think I was being stupid looking for such signs so I instead focused on my breath and the way I was feeling running through the darkness. I could feel each breath going in and out, each step bringing droplets of water down on me ones that had gathered in my wet hair. I concentrated on the moving of my chest and arms and by the time I hit the 10km mark I was really cruising. Racing through the dark wet night thinking to myself, this is a sign, I'm alive, I'm healthy and doing what I love and none of this would have been possible without my grandmother.

She continues to live in me and as long as I keep her in my memory and do my best I am honoring her memory by living as she did, the best she could.


  1. A lovely post and a fantastic way to remember and celebrate your grandmother.

  2. A wonderful post Scott. I think so many of us forget that are the culmination of all those who have come before us...

  3. Sorry to hear about your grandma mate. I suppose it is natural to look for comfort in the possibility of a hereafter, but in the end I think you chose the best way to honour the memory of your gran. Our health and vitality are but transitory and we can never know how they will last, so let's rejoice in them while we can.

  4. Well written Scott.

    So sorry to hear this news.

  5. Very beautifully put Scott.

  6. My condolences Scott. You summed up something that I heard years ago - the biggest honour that you can give someone is to remember the good things and times when they're gone, and to live your life with that memory. You obviously have the right of this, because you're doing your Grandmother a bigger honour by living in a way that would make her proud!