Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Appreciating the landscape

My sister lives in the Fraser Valley. It is flat, rich agricultural land in the huge flood plain but wherever you look you see mountains. On clear days the light is crisp and clean with blue skies over an open landscape. There is a beauty and grandeur here.

Although this is a running blog I often talk about landscapes. This is because being somewhere stimulating, noticing new things on familiar routes, seeing how everything looks different in different light, being aware of changes in the seasons is an important part of the experience. It is a necessary counterbalance to a tendency to be too absorbed by your own body: how you are doing, how you are feeling, whether you are flying or struggling. You have to look out as well as in.

My sister has a wonderful landscape to run in. The mountains never look the same; the light and shadows are always changing and the pattern of clouds is always shifting. The picture at the top is a bit of a cheat because it is not from a run (it was taken a few miles away, looking over the Fraser at Mission) but it shows how sometimes, on a clear day, strata of clouds can make the view a peep show.

You can never tire of such sights or take for granted your ability to enjoy them.

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