Walk - 4 miles, Time - 1h 15m, Weather - cold, raw, heavy grey sky, light snow
When the weather is like this most of my attention is focussed on the ground a few feet ahead, looking where I step, trying to keep upright. The paths are ice with a light covering of snow and when I place my foot the heel will sometimes slide to one side or the other and I make adjustments. At times I can look like a bad tightrope walker but at other times I can crack on. Walking is hard though: the stride is shorter and less regular and it is difficult to drop into a rhythm. The coldness of the air and the snow on the face make you want to hunker into yourself and the obvious question should be: ‘why am are out here when there is no real need?’ But that is not what I am thinking. I am both enjoying myself and not want it to last too long.
Sometimes I listen to the silence as all noise seems to have been dampened. I appreciate the hazy, grey beauty and they way outlines become blurred and more mysterious. There are a few people about but for stretches there is no one in sight and it is pleasant to have the illusion of being alone in the landscape.
There is every reason to be out. I did though make sure I left promptly, at 8 o’clock, so there was no time for procrastination. On that subject this quote from marcus Aurelius seems appropriate:
At dawn when you have trouble getting out of bed tell yourself ‘ I have to go to work - as a human being. What do I have to complain of if I have to do what I was born for - the things I was brought into this world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?
So you were born to feel “nice”? Instead of doing things and experiencing them? Don’t you see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order as best they can? And you’re not willing to do your job as a human being? Why aren’t you running to do what your nature demands?
- But it is nicer here.
Many, many times do I need to admonish myself in this way