Homonyms and My Imaginary World

Every morning I like to take Lucy out for a walk around the lake. It’s quiet and serene and, generally speaking, there aren’t a lot of people out there. Nestled in a triangle of apartments, town homes, and single family homes, the lake and its path sit- beautifully maintained by the City of Thornton (thank you productive tax dollars!) It’s so quiet in the mornings that I decided I would go for a run and do a few laps around the lake. I did my usual stretching at a bench where my apartment complex butts up to the path and took off with great joy and gusto.

I will be the first to admit that while I’m running my mind tends to wander away from my body (I even lost my keys once; it was tragic) and before I know it I am transported to a land that I not only create, but also moderate. I tell myself stories and imagine what the people around me are thinking and doing. I plan out conversations, both my part and the part of the person I intend to talk to.

Before I know it I am most of the way around the lake. I come to a part on the sidewalk that, from a distance, looks like its been the victim of some sidewalk chalk graffiti by some neighborhood kids. I approach the square and simply see the word SORE. In big, bold letters, just the one word is written.

I keep running past it, around to the beginning of my loop, and my mind goes back to Robin-land. I start thinking of the person who may have written that one ominous word- SORE. Were they running like me and just couldn’t do it anymore? Is it someone who recently had surgery and the physical therapy just isn’t working the way it’s supposed to? Was it someone in pain, and all they can bear to do is scrawl on the sidewalk, so that everyone who passes can hear their suffering?

Or is it possible that this is a case of mistaken word identity? Was the word they meant to write actually SOAR? A command to keep pushing, to keep going, to be the best that you possibly can be?

Weeks later, no matter how many times it rains or how many people pass over that square, the word still stands.

And every time I run by it I smile and thank the person in my mind for reminding me to lift my wings and SOAR.