Running home

Yesterday (Friday) evening I went for a run. I left our house at 6.35 and made it back at 7.20, by which time it was dark. I ran in a loop around our village; the route – a thread of country lanes and tracks – was 5 or 6 miles. Nothing special. Here is what I saw / heard / experienced:

  • Two trout idling in the Avon, just under the ‘conker bridge’ (so called because a chestnut tree grows nearby, which the boys like to climb and in autumn raid for conkers).
  • A bagpiper practising. I couldn’t see him (I presume it was a he), but his lament reached me across rolling fields just greening up with winter wheat. I was running down a deserted lane in the middle of England on a still autumn evening, the sky losing its light. A bagpipe was a strange sound. Strange and wonderful. A new arrival in the valley? A student home for the week-end?
  • A pylon in a field. Its electricity transmission lines fizzed loudly with current.
  • Unseen in a dark wood, an owl hooting.
  • Lamas bolting. They were grazing in a corner of a field that overlooked a sunken stretch of lane. When I ran past I disturbed them.
  • Bullocks bolting (more noisily) – ditto. They were in the next-door-field to the lamas.
  • Cars parking in a pub car park. Through the pub’s window, a fire lit in the fireplace. A sign saying ‘Take away fish and chips on Friday evenings 6pm – pm’. I thought about it, but had no money, and we had people coming for supper. A sense of the week-end getting underway.
  • A tractor in a field, working it’s way around the tight corner of a ploughed field, its headlights blazing. There was an alien quality to this machine coming out of the darkness under its own light. I guess it was planting something but it felt like the end of harvest, which around here has been late and interrupted by rain.
  • A fat (harvest) moon like a gold coin hanging low over our village. By now dusk had almost run itself out. I was crossing open fields towards my village, which was lit in the darkness (thanks to those electricity transmission lines). So I had the sensation of running home, in the deep gloaming, towards home. The exotic moon, and the sensation of nearing shelter as night fell, was transporting.

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