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I read an article today that just this past weekend, a woman died, mysteriously, on my regular running trail.  Skimming through the article, I tried to skip over any description of where, at what trail marker, the police found her body.  I went running on that trail tonight.  There were no lit candles set up by the trail, no photographs, not even police tape to indicate that a woman's life was ended here on this very spot.  And as it does so often when I run, my mind wandered.  Was it as bone-chillingly cold when she was running - so cold that it smells like firewood, decomposing leaves and snow?  Was the trail as empty as it was tonight and did she only have her own rhythmic footfalls for company?  Was she in that meditative state that running pushes you into or was she also distracted by her plans for the day ahead, her plans for the new year?

A life had passed, just as another runner does, passing "on your left."  So quickly and suddenly it doesn't even register in your mind.  It's outside of your realm of thought, out of your field of vision, in a few brief moments.  Dear runner, this is the virtual prayer candle I'm lighting for you and your memory this cold January night.