Walking Home in the Dark

The first year I was elected, I ran in Hulls Gulch, up the street from my house, two mornings a week in the dark before heading to the statehouse. Time seems constricted now. The list of things to do never seems to finish before more items are added or other pages tacked on. I’m sure lots of people live like that. I walk to work now in the dark and it gives me time to think before the day starts. I practice debate, strategize or just listen to my heels clicking on the sidewalk. Before being a legislator I didn’t even own shoes that made that noise. It is an oddly powerful sound. Woman with a purpose, big strides because these are sturdy shoes with heels, but somehow forceful and intentional.
    Today I felt the other kind of running, the kind which has replaced my contemplative runs in the foothills where, for fourteen years, I’d talk politics or work through problems with my friend Lee and our two dogs for a full 40 minutes before work. This running now is produced by that sense that things are moving more quickly than I can hold them down. It is a sense that triage should have taken place earlier but did not because the patients are appearing out of thin air, so now it is being attempted in flight and is just not what it could be.
    This running is the sense that comes from being one of 19 in a 70 member body where there are just not enough of you yet to do it all so each is doing a lot and just trying to keep above the the snow while the avalanche is barreling toward April and Sine Die. Sine Die is what we call the end of the session, the last motion made by the speaker to send us all home. For the first time this year I feel like my eyes are already running from that date to get it all done but it is ticking really loud, like those heels of mine on the North End sidewalks, click click click click.