Throwing the bones of conversation to foretell of Summer and dreams

  • Tuesday, February 20, 2018
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Fox on the run
You scream and everybody comes a running 
Take a run and hide yourself away 
(Foxy on the run)
Foxy, fox on the run and hideaway.
(British band Sweet singing about groupies.)

Saturday was springs preamble, sunny and mild, a prescient calm bringing hope and the promise of better days. We sat in the sun, my family and I and when the shadows lengthened as they do we didn’t retreat to our sofa but experienced one of those transcendental moments that are unspoken and unplanned and because of those things carry great power. These moments pass into the collective memory like burning torches, their smoke curling the stories into the air and carrying them through time. It is uncanny how a close and familial group of people can make decisions without conscious thought but we found ourselves lighting our chiminea and hunching tightly around the flames in a tribal semicircle, throwing the bones of conversation to foretell of summer and dreams. Shaman like we read the shapes of the flames reflected on our faces while Hendrix, Dylan and the Stones sang down the ages through the Bluetooth speaker. My kids roasted Marshmallows and I sat slightly outside the circle to watch and listen. Back in caveman times I would have been clutching my crude spear in my left hand alert and scanning the dark to repel and protect from the things that rustle and howl just beyond the light.
I have made a slow return to running this week with a knee crisscrossed with Kinetic tape. Placebo or not it seems to work and the joint feels supported. On Tuesday night I was out with my Fox again. She was unusually bold, intersecting with me at various points on my lap and even loping alongside me for the length of the field on one occasion. While researching Fox behaviour I found a great story from Finland where the Aurora Borealis is known as Revontulet which translates as Fox fires. The belief is that the lights were a product of a Fox painting the sky with it’s tail. I didn’t realise it at the time but this run was a farewell, I was about to enter my fifth mile when I came around a corner to find the glittering spectacles of squat and stern faced officialdom blocking my path. I was informed that I am not allowed to run around the school and that I had to desist immediately. I could have sworn I heard the Fox snort derisively in the shadows.
I went out again on Friday, one of those clear afternoons begging to enjoyed in the woods. Despite my resolution at the beginning of the year to do some heavy metal running I have concluded that I should slow down and mellow out, hopefully being less injured that way. My recent runs have all been hallmarked by feelings of deep calm and this is worth far more to me than statistics informing me that my run was the nth fastest of all time. Adding to the loveliness of the afternoon, I heard the happy sound that I strive each year to hear, that of a Woodpecker, always my benchmark of an approaching spring. These birds may not soar in elegant parabolic arcs like other birds but I deeply love the blue collar sound of their workmanlike industry against the trees.
All this talk about hope is important, tonight the temperatures are predicted to drop sharply and there is the prospect of snow in the next few days. Winter is still here resisting springs nudge.

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