I came around the corner, 14 miles in, home stretch, and saw it growing like manna from heaven. A Bosc pear tree, right on the path. In all honesty, I have known about this pear tree for four years, ever since my then-partner Michael Henry and I discovered it on one of our first bike rides together. Henry has an enchanting habit of picking a fruit off a tree, taking a big bite, and letting it kind of dribble out onto the ground as he chews. I thought about this as I picked the largest, ripest-looking pear and chomped. I became an animal munching on this pithy fruit, not quite ripe…but wild animals can’t be picky.
When I arrived at my house a mile or so later my four-year-old niece Eowyn struck up a conversation.
Eowyn: How was your time?
Sara: You mean, how was my run?
Eowyn: Yes, what did you see?
Four-year-olds are exceptionally adept at asking wise questions. I thought about it for a moment…what did I see? I told her I saw asphalt and cars and other people and trees and I saw the creek flowing by and blackberries and pears…but what I also saw was my body pushing itself beyond prior limits, my focus narrowing to a sharpened point, my confidence in finishing the race deepening. I witnessed wholehearted self-encouragement and self-love practice. I saw other folks running and pushing themselves to their limits and practicing self-empowerment with every step. I saw all this beauty.