My memories of this period of quarantine in the face of an out of control pandemic will probably always be triggered by the scent of jasmine.
I have run every single day, some days the run has been more of a walk interspersed with moments of jogging. Some days the run has been only accomplished through an extreme act of will. A dogged determination to practice some form of self care so as not to lose my mind and all sense of accomplishment as one day runs into the next.
In Texas, this period began in the best time of year for running, when the jasmine planted on every fence along every neighborhood street blooms bright and lovely and blankets the sidewalks in the sweet scent of springtime.
I always felt lucky to be able to run in a place that was not snowbound, as my home state of Minnesota was at the start of quarantine, and which had such a lovely scent to drag me forward on my runs.
Of course now Minnesota is no longer homebound, but rather is in the midst of a glorious summer – while Texas swelters on in the longest stretch of days where the temperature never drops below 80 degrees since records have been kept. These days the runs are harder to start and even worse to continue.
But I have continued. I think it’s to remind myself and my body that we will not be stuck in this one place for ever. To get outside and to look at things in natural light – without the tempering influence of glass – is almost as good as any antidepressant on the market today. It can alter the chemistry of the brain – or so I remind myself when I slam into the wall of humidity waiting outside my front door each morning.