Some Thoughts from the Trail

It’s strange that the initial few weeks of our move to England have been so stress free; to the point of leaving behind a funny cloud of anxiety lying over the absence of the usual hum drum of what used to be normal life.  I have repeatedly got up in the morning unusually alert, sat up in bed with ears perked forward, eyes wide and almost salivating, ready to go and tackle some job, take down some task.  You know, win some bread, bring home the bacon.  Then like a brick to the face, I realize that this is a new season and that the pace has changed. And I realize that I’m not really sure how to grasp that.  So I reach for my running shoes and hit the trail.  Irrespective of where we have been—Haddenham, St. Andrews or Edinburgh—this has been the pattern almost every morning.

As the rhythm of my feet on the trail drum the last remnants of sleep and lethargy out into the morning air, the old familiar smells of thyme, willow herb and cattle grazing fill my lungs.  Taking me on a journey back to a time when living the present, free from anxiety was the default… not something I had to strive for.

A time when habits and routines that now structure my life were a foreign concept.  When what I did best was live in the moment, without fretting about what lay ahead.  Trusting that parents had that figured out! I was totally at ease running through the cattle fields with friends. Jumping over rivers, laughing joyously with both arms holding on for dear life to a wispy thread of tattered rope, sopping wet feet trailing behind. Standing on mangers hurling stones at each other and hearing the woossh go by, like a humming birds in mating season, dangerously close to our care free little heads.

Today, as I ran I felt nostalgic for those times and yet part of me is stuck in a place that yearns for structure and routine.  It would be so liberating to trust that the following week, day or even the next moment will be its’ own.  Will be totally cared for, in its’ own time and space.  Then you could let it be, stop fussing and enjoy the present.  Even if it is in a time when you haven’t got a clue what is happening the next day, week or year.  I want to do that.

It’s funny, because if I look back at how things have come together in harmony in the past I can begin to chill out, knowing that the future will sing in harmony too.  Even if the tune it sings is totally different to the one I had in mind.   When I was a teenager, I wanted nothing more than for my life to reverberate an apathetic grunge song but after a few unexpected turns the minor keys lost their sinister feel, jumped up and got some rhythm and next thing you know I was in the midst of a happy hardcore rave with fluorescent paint in my hair and glow sticks in hand.  Right now, I don’t quite know what melody is piping out of my life, it’s definitely not pop and it is without a doubt not polished.  But I think I’m just going to let it flow, because it’s my tune and I am excited to see what will happen to it next.

4 thoughts on “Some Thoughts from the Trail

  1. Is this Dan? Most of the blog seems to be in Anna’s voice. It would be nice if you two signed them! Like “Ta Ta for now, Dan.” That way I won’t keep guessing on who is talking.
    The blog is a great idea. It keeps you writing and keeps us in touch with what is happening in your lives. We love you!
    Your American Mum

  2. Yes that one is from Dan but they are usually by Anna. Maybe we can see about differentiating the posts more but if it’s about running it’s probably by Dan!

  3. Dan, you’ve got the poet in you. I can almost smell that thyme.

    Anna, I miss our morning book-on-tape moments. Any suggestions for my next?

    How is this new bend in the journey going for you both?


  4. Hey Zoe, I’m reading the Poisenwood Bible right now about a missionary family to the Congo in the 60s – maybe you could check it out. How’s everything at PF?

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