I’ve been uneasy running alone in the mornings lately. It’s odd how this fear pops up now and then. I haven’t kept track of when this happens, and think it may well be that it always happens this time of year when it seems the world is suddenly dark at 6 am. Maybe it’s instinctive, and fine, and not paranoid at all to be uncomfortable as the earth so obviously shifts on its axis in relation to the light source.
I remind myself that the trees aren’t dying. They’re making way for new growth.
Odd that we talk about “spring cleaning” – when Autumn seems to be the season when nature sorts through what to keep and what to let go of.
I stopped to take a photograph and the bushes rustled behind me. Wind, or blackbirds, or even a squirrel.
I passed two people at the lake this morning. An older man walking, who diffused my fear with a “God morgen”. Which gave me the momentum to say, “God morgen” to the woman I later ran past farther along the trail. I realized how rare it is for us to greet each other here – it seems we only do this on these dark mornings, maybe an instinctive gesture of comfort?
There have been two murders here in the last half-year. One, still a mystery. I thought about that when I laced my shoes this morning, having finally settled on the trail shoes over the street shoes. I wondered if it mattered if I ran through subdivisions or along the trail. Then I tried to sweep the discussion out of my mind, reminding myself that I’m more like to slip and die in the shower than run into a monster at the lake.
Then I remind myself that is not exactly a productive train of thought either.
I put on my headlamp and a reflector vest, and I gave Leonard a consolation treat as I headed out the door without him. The hound is more interested in dust bunnies than hare, and I’m safer on the run without him skittering between my legs and potentially tripping me every time someone passes us.
Or every time there’s a rustling in the bushes.
There’s a somewhat steep hill about 2 kilometres into my run. Steep enough to force my pulse up when I ascend, and steep enough to challenge me on the way back: trust your body to run down hill. Let go of a false sense of control – trust your instincts, trust your practice, trust the knowledge in your limbs.
Breaking with each step is murder in the knees.