It is time to run. I have a psychologist runner friend who labels people. On one run he asked me to label myself. I said runner. I told him I probably did not want to know what that meant clinically. But I can tell you I do not feel comfortable in a city until I have run in it. It gives me a lay of the land. It gives me my bearings. It let's me sightsee. It let's me think.
The runner in me always trumps the sleeper in me, so at I head out the door of the HandsonUSA headquarters and went for a run. Understand, that if I were to choose when or where to run, this would not be it. Not only was it way too early, but
Or I could run on side roads that all seem to dead-end before getting anywhere. But better than sidewalks. So I turn down side streets. I go past house after house with roofs damaged by Katrina. Trees lay by the sides of many of the homes and almost every house has piles of debris awaiting pickup piled in front. And every house had something else too. A yappy dog.
I had planned on just doing 45 minutes of loops around West and North streets. But by lap two, I was pretty sure every house not only had a yappy dog but that each yappy dog wanted to say hello when I went by its home. At “hello” is too much, and besides their barks were decidedly not “morning voices”. So I gave up my idea of laps and decided to try the sidewalks along Pass Road.
This was not turning out like I had hoped. But as if to give credence to the "It's always darkest before the dawn" saying, things began to brighten. I turned left onto Pass Road at the detroyed gas station and a
Maybe it was the time, maybe a serious lack of sleep, maybe it was that I had not thought of the word "convoy" for a very long time (unfortunately it does not come from Spanish which would make the story that much better). But whatever it was the song stuck in my head.
As I ran towards the areas of the worst destruction, areas where military personnel would eventually block my entrance, I could not get the song out of my head.
And it dawned on me, that that is what we were doing. That is what all of the volunteers were doing. Unknowingly, we had joined a convoy; a convoy of people from around the country. We had all come together to help people we did not even know. The run progressed as I dwelled on the mental picture. It really was a convoy--a convoy of people helping others. People from Handson, people from every one of the scores of relief agencies across the area, and everyone at the utility companies, the National Guard, the Air Force, and of course the local people who set aside their troubles to help their neighbors had literally and figuratively joined a convoy.
The run progressed as I dwelled on the mental picture. It really was a convoy--a convoy of people helping others. People from Handson, people from every one of the scores of relief agencies across the area, and everyone at the utility companies, the National Guard, the Air Force, and of course the local people who set aside their troubles to help their neighbors had literally and figuratively joined a convoy.
After a few miles of being lost in thoughts of the convoy, I suddenly realized it was time to head back. But I also realized the sun was coming up and I lucky enough to be witnessing a beautiful sun rise. How appropriate. The sun was not the only thing making a comeback. The region itself was in the process of coming back, with the help of a great big convoy. A convoy that you can help.
"Come on an' join our convoy, ain't nothin' gonna git in our way"
Lyrics from Convoy by C.W. McCall.
“Cause we gotta great big convoy, rockin' through the night
Yeah we gotta great big convoy, ain't she a beautiful sight?
Come on an' join our convoy, ain't nothin' gonna git in our way
We're gonna roll this truckin' convoy, cross the