It’s the Friday night before Hallowe’en. Noah has gone to Gaming Night at the community hall. Sophie is at the Hallowe’en Dance at the school. Erin is the basement practicing Saint-Sëans. Chuck is on call. I have spent the afternoon grinding wheat and khorasan, kneading dough, making pizzas, then baking the pizzas, a few loaves of bread, a dozen buns and a huge pot of bean burrito filling.
Fiona has practiced, and now wants to do “something special.”
We go back and forth a bit about what constitutes something special. Eventually we decide that it would be fun to dress in our black running tights and our black SufferFest hoodies, strap on headlamps and run the forested trail below our house. A spooky Hallowe’en weekend trail run in the dark.
We drive the van to the trail head. On the way Fiona comments that it’s easy to under-estimate the power of dark. Which I take to mean she’s feeling a little apprehensive about the run. It’ll be fine, I reassure her. We’ll be together, we’ll have our head lamps, we’ll get warm after a while, we’ll hold hands and talk.
It is spooky. Just enough spooky to be memorable. Silent and thoroughly, completely dark. I don’t mind running the highway in the dark alone, but I would not have been pleased to be running the forested trail by myself. I am glad to be running with Fiona. She is a reassuring companion to have along. She is just brave enough to do this with me, and I tell her that I too feel braver having her along — after all, if a spooky monster attacked me, I could toss her at it and run for my life. She laughs, I laugh. We finish the trail happy and exhilarated. We’ll remember this run for a long time.