I stretch at the bottom of the steps before springing open our heavy green door and stepping out onto the loud Uruguayan street. I run past the art museum, shouting “buen día” at the man who always sits there, just a few doors down from my apartment. Why haven’t I ever asked his name? I run past the man selling newspapers on the corner and make a hard left turn to start my trek toward the rambla, toward the sea. For this first half mile I am aware of each step, making sure not to step on loose sidewalk tiles or fresh piles of dog doo. I am fully aware of my surroundings, stopping at stoplights, dodging people on every block, breathing in secondhand smoke and car fumes. After about five minutes I reach the bottom of the hill where I cross a few lanes of busy morning traffic, and then my feet land on the rambla. Once I have arrived, I settle into the rhythm of waves crashing against the slow steady hum of traffic; I get lost in my own thoughts. In the wind and the waves and the prayers, God meets me in the running.
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.