I run and I run.
After days inside, sat at the table, watching a screen, opening tabs, closing tabs, crashing the system, rebooting the system, eating toast, wearing cardigan upon cardigan, I run.
It’s the most wonderful journey I’ve ever taken.
I run along the bumpy pavements.
I run across the empty streets.
I run past the evidence of irresponsible dog owners.
I run because all that matters is the run.
It’s not the most beautiful run, but it’s my run.
Legs push me forward. Eyes stream in the battle against the wind. Lungs fill with beautiful, beautiful cold air.
I pass the naked trees, still home to pigeons and squirrels. I pass the playground, deserted and desolate in the current landscape. I pass the pub, curtains drawn and door bolted.
I run and I remember that everything is transitory.
I run and I think about the future when the trees will be awash with resplendent greenery.
I run and I think about the future when the playground will heave with children screaming in excitement.
I run and I think about the future when the soft glow of the pub spills out onto the pavement.
I run and I think. All my best thinking is done when blood is pulsing to my extremities.
My journey continues.
I know where I’m going. Where I always go.
I run to the water.
I run alongside the water and inhale the industrial sea air.
It may not be very far, and it may not take very long, yet, as with all journeys, it is the movement that matters. The propulsion of existence. I exist and I run.
I run the same route. Feet take the same steps. Eyes take in the same sights.
The broken gate, the wonky street sign, the Mr Men mosaic, the alien sticker on the lamppost, the abandoned scooter, the teddy in the window, the wall with the chunk missing.
I see them all. Every time. Every run.
Yet I run to the water and I don’t know what will greet me.
Tide in? Tide out? Choppy? Still? Swans in? Swans out? Oystercatchers? Sandpipers? Fishing? Beachcombers? Sea glass? Sun? Cloud?
The transient nature of the sea keeps calling me back.
I run to it.
I run away from it.
But I know it won’t be long before the need to run catches me once more.