Monday, 4 June 2012

Thoughts while running

Currently reading: The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
Currently listening to: "Put Your Hearts Up" by Ariana Grande
Current weather conditions: Rain, with spontaneous, glorious sunshine

BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY!! Oh, I am so so so thankful.

It has been a while since I ran.

A woman running through Hampstead Heath in London on September 30, 2011.  - Found here.

(An exercise bike kindly loaned from a friend has been great in changing up my cardio routine for this past year, and I liked being able to use it indoors - somehow it would rain every time I needed to run. And because I wear glasses, running is treacherous in the rain. Running without glasses is running blind, which is practically suicidal.)

This morning, I felt the need for something different. My black Nikes hit the pavement like they knew what they were doing, though, and I think they might have been happy to finally get some use.

Today I followed a path down the Doncaster Greenway, past crowds of waving Queen Anne's Lace along the sidelines, weaving in between prams and parents and pensioners and poodles. I made my way past houses through to a field (the likes of which I'd never seen before) and my Ipod made a pleasant background tone to the endless expanse of green to my right.

I was going down a path, following the stanzas of Robert Frost, taking the road less travelled. Wondering to myself where this might lead.

I was heading into the unknown, as the landscape changed from houses to fields to woods, and I saw a dark, rather scary-looking bridge, under which two people had just disappeared and reappeared on the other side, white t-shirts bright in the sun. I went under and hesitated for a moment below the crest of a hill, unsure whether I might turn around now for the return journey home.

Instead, I plunged ahead, and at the top of the hill: a beautiful pond and a big pub (House? Manor?) at the top of another hill, overlooking everything, weeping willow trees bowing down over the water as if in thirst or prayer. I had stumbled upon the Woodlands Park Angling Club, apparently, and I toured the pond, taking it in at the pace of a light jog, breathing in the mineral smell of the water, running through the cool of the pavement under my feet, the velvety tendrils of the willows reaching down, just missing my head.

It just goes to show: you never know what will come next. The landscape of your life will change: it might be unpaved, or dusty, or canted to the side, or perfectly smooth and flat. Maybe a little too smooth and flat. Just when you think it might be getting slightly boring or not worth looking at, and you want to turn around and go back the way you came, always hesitate. Always think twice: there might be a surprise just around the corner. Or at the crest of a hill.

Like Anne Lamott said, "There is ecstacy in paying attention."

Happy Monday, everyone, and I hope you find something today that makes you smile.

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