Kate Grace

If you’ve ever run with me in winter months, you know I’m a big fan of the Gaiter (also known as…neck warmers, fleecy necky things, snarfs). Living in Los Angeles until college, I wasn’t prepared for running in the cold. I started by borrowing ski gear from my mom. My neck has needed special attention since a bad case of Mono, so keeping it happy was top of the list. I loved the extra protection and warmth I got from the gaiters. Whether it was mental or physical (a bit of both), the neck warmer remains my secret weapon when temperatures drop.


Of course, when Mac mentioned an ode to the gaiter, I took her literally. Here is my love poem to this underappreciated (until now!) article of clothing. It’s a riff off of Craig Arnold’s Meditation on a Grapefruit.

Meditation on a Gaiter

To wake when all is possible

before the agitations of the day

have gripped you

              To steal to the bathroom

feet fixed on tile ice



             To tug the cloth

past sleepworn eyes

rubbing away       hope of relent

back under covers


                      To ease out

of doors so gingerly

a cloud of frosted air       storming lungs

clean and sharp as pepper


               To slide the hemline

over mouth and nose          spouting fire

first with light steps

until all senses stir


And only then to sweat

           So sweet

                     an addition

to the morning run        a warmth

that follows me through dark winters

from mother       passed to daughter


Courage to breathe in and meet the day

Spirit to breathe out and join it


jacquelyn scofield