Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The stuff of fairy tales

I am so, so sorry to inflict another blog post upon you so soon after the one I wrote this morning, but I just got back from a great run and I'm as giddy as a little kid who's eaten waaay too many sweets.

Looking at all those old photos from the Swedish mountains made me ache for nature and adventure and trail running. I wondered if I could find a trail to run on nearby, as I was only supposed to run 8 km today according to my training schedule. After doing some brief research, I headed south. We live very close to the southern city limits, and you can easily get to the forest. A forest that I haven't explored properly. A forest that was waiting patiently for me to discover it so that it could show me its hidden treasures. 

Alright, deer, lead the way...
To my right, a mountain (well, more of a tall hill really) beckoned me closer. 

The ground was covered in half a meter of snow, though, and tempting though it was to try and run up to the top on the trail I knew was there, I wasn't brave enough for such an attempt just then. I didn't know if the trail was used in the winter and I was worried there would be so much snow on it that I'd have to turn back almost immediately or risk getting eaten by wolves. I picked the horse track to my left instead. Trail it was not, but it would have to do, I thought. This horse track is a loop and I had only run one of its sides before, so now I turned the other way and a warm blanket of sunlight instantly soothed my nature-lovesick soul. 

The breeze that had been nipping at my cheeks up to that point stayed high on the tree tops here in the forest, and I loved the calming sound it made as it slithered through the branches. It was a pristine, glittering world, and I only had to look up from the horse track to create the illusion I was in the middle of nowhere. Traffic could be heard far off in the distance, but I could easily shut it out by observing the evidence of wildlife all around me instead. Deer tracks stitched a delicate, elaborate pattern on snow-covered clearings, and I wanted to follow them into the forest as far as I could and see the world as the deer see it.

It was a brief illusion. Soon my shoes were kissing asphalt again. I had chosen to run right instead of left at a crossroads. But it is not the last time I will be running there, and next time I'll be choosing a different direction.

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