During my (icy) run today, I did a lot of looking down at the ground.
Patch of icy here, rock there, frozen puddle there...
Among the icy and crunchy leftover snow, I also spied a penny.
I, of course, had to pick it up.
I've always believe that old rhyme: "See a penny, pick it up, all day long you'll have good luck."
When I was 8, and met my best friend, she and I found a "lucky" penny we deemed to be lucky because it was minted in 1982 (her birth year).
At the time, this was proof enough that clearly, the old saying was true and we indeed had a lucky penny.
We were pen-pals, she and I. And so the penny got mailed back in forth for a while, to the person the two of us decided needed the most luck.
After a while, and as we got older, we decided the penny was far too important to risk getting lost in the mail, and so we crafted a special holder for the penny, and settled on only passing the penny back and forth when we got together in person.
She gave me the penny when I started my first newspaper reporting job; I gave it back to her when she moved halfway across the country; she gave it to me when I lived in Florida and missed the Northeast and my family; we brought it on our travels across Europe when we graduated from high school.
Finally, a few years ago when she got married, hauled out the penny once more, and told her it was her new family's to keep, as I could not possibly get any luckier.
My best friend still lives half way across the country, but she recently came to visit and told me she was so proud of all the running I've been doing. I hugged her tight and said thank you, and it will be another year or two before I see her again I'm sure.
I have no idea if this penny will be lucky or not, and the truth is I don't need it.
But sometimes, it's nice to have a reminder that you have people who will carry you when you don't feel strong.
So I'm keeping the penny.
And this one will cross the finish line of Boston with me in April.