Today, the Oakland Marathon ran by my house. This year, as in each of the five years since its inception, I’ve gone outside to watch. Congregating with a small band of neighbors, we rang bells, shook maracas, and cheered. Encouraging those with enough tenacity to tackle 26 miles of Oakland city streets-while most of stood huddled with mugs of coffee in hand-provided us with a communal sense of purpose, and awe. To witness something so far beyond our own capacity (well, certainly beyond mine) gives us hope for a different, better outcome for ourselves and others. As the runners flew past, and our small group cheered, I felt a renewed sense of optimism for all our human potential-whether we run, hop, skip, or jump. Or whether, in that moment, all we really want to do on a misty Sunday morning, is believe that if someone else can do a thing of marvel, one day, so might we.
Text and photo copyright Rachel Pepper 2016