At this point, I suppose we can only surmise what heaven may look like, but if it looks something like the area in which we ran our mid-June half-marathon, I wouldn't be at all surprised. (Actually, I might be surprised to even be able to find out at some point in the future, but in the meantime, I'll continue to imagine.)
I suspect many of you who might read this have been to Estes Park, Colorado, but having been there probably at least a half dozen times, I would be ready to go back again next week. What a beautiful setting! The Colorado Rockies nearly surround the city, with Long's Peak majestically standing watch to the South, forested hillsides, lakes, endless blue skies, and, of course, enough streets and roads to let people run (in our case) 13.1 miles. (And the marathoners - those lucky devils - got to enjoy the scenery twice as far!) This race (which we ran on the 15th of June), is billed as the highest paved marathon in the world - so many people find the elevation (between 7500 and 8000') a bit daunting for a long run, but hey - it gets you closer to heaven....especially when people feel like they can't breathe anymore!
This was not a race for any personal best times; in fact, Karen and I ran this race together the entire way - which is something we have never done before, as Karen has never been willing to slow down enough to run with me! It was, literally, a nice change of pace - and a great race.
As for the deep thoughts - which must, of necessity, be part of any such endeavor - I can only remind everyone to soak it all in. More often than we realize, we are encompassed by indescribable and unimaginable beauty - because we pass through it too quickly, too distracted, too focused on other things, or just plain too indifferent or without paying attention. In this case, I had over two hours - and just tried to soak it all in - and I believe, at least to some extent, that I succeeded. Sometimes, there is good counsel in just a few words: Slow down, smell the roses, look for the good and the beautiful; no doubt, it will be there.