Today, I felt like a short run would do me some good. I like to think that jogging regularly is one of the things which will help me live longer and healthier. I like to think a lot of things actually…and not all of them are correct. But, I have a hunch that the jogging will pay off. I am reminded of Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint Workout Plan where he advocates sprinting once a week, I guess to mimic the occasional hunting sprint of primitive hunter gatherers. So, even if I only go jogging once a week, it still is worthwhile. The other advantage of jogging less often is that, when I do feel the urge to run, I will more quickly choose a longer route.

Todays run would be the first one in Mombray, and I was unsure of distances or even appropriate paths to run on. Roads are one thing, and even out in this corner of France, google still picks up most of them. If, however, you decide to take a path running between farms and fields, it is more difficult to know where you will end up. Those are the choices I make when I know the weather will be warm and dry. So, today, I started my run on the dirt road right behind the house. It had been explained to me that, if I simply kept taking right turns, I would once again end up almost exactly where I started.

At my speed, it took around 20 minutes to get back to Mombray. Although not a very long route, it is made more challenging by the hilly nature of the landscape. Mombray itself is situated at the top of a small hill. When I got to the last turn, which led back to the house, I felt like I needed to push myself just a little bit further, so instead of turning towards the house, I decided I would follow the road down to the bottom of the hill where it met up with a larger road. That was the easy part. Running back up would be the challenge.

When I reached the bottom I stopped to stretch my legs and enjoy a last bit of sun before heading back up. I stood on the side of the road, gazing into a large open pasture, with a tree lined river in the distance. As I bent over to touch my toes. I kept looking at all the life around me. The sun was already low, and its light was warming. I suddenly realised how quiet it was. There was no traffic on the road. The cows were too far away to be heard. All there was was the sound of wind through leaves. I saw how every blade of grass fluttered back and forth. Even in the distance, I saw the trees moving with the wind. All of it was in harmony, like a well choreographed dance. As I continued watching all the movement around me, it was as if I started to ‘hear’ the grass and the leaves. Similar to looking through the stained glass window of a church, watching the peoples lips move, but only faintly hearing the songs of praise. In that moment, between breaths, I heard nature singing its song of praise, happily waving about in the afternoon sun. She sung about how amazing life is, how complicated, and yet so simple. It didn’t matter if you had two legs that took you to all corners of the earth, or if you were literally rooted to the spot: Life is one big celebration!

It didn’t last long, the song. Pretty soon, all I saw was waving grass and fluttering leaves. A car passed by and I remembered I had a hill to climb. But I swear, the person that climbed that hill felt lighter than when he had run down it. What a difference a moment can make when you are paying attention.