Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Marshland Solitude

I’m a casual runner these days – some days I run slow, some days I walk fast. Some days I like company; other days, I prefer solitude. Depends on my mood and the pull of responsibilities. But I know that if I go more than two or three days without exercise, I get cranky.

Monday was the third day. That evening, the night was so still and silent and warm, I decided to run out on the Hillsborough Dyke. It was about 8:15 when I parked at the Information Centre in Hillsborough. After a brief walk to warm up, I headed around the Wetlands Park Trail and out toward the gypsum silos. Ducks and geese were quietly tucking themselves into the reeds for the night.

I love it out here. Albert County marshland touches somewhere deep inside. The tide was on the ebb flow and river mud glistened in the soft fading light. Tall burgundy spires of marsh reed grass caught the last rays of sun, the creeping purple cow vetch wound itself through masses of daisies, sweet clover and bedstraw. I startled a few small birds from the long grass and they flew by my feet. An eagle floated overhead without a sound. The heady scent of fresh mown hay mingled with the subtle salt of the river water. The sunset turned the marsh a burnished copper.

I ran out the freshly graveled dyke road, and returned via the top of the dyke. It had not been mowed all summer and the grass was so long it was like running through a field – one of those things I’ve often wanted to do. This is freedom. I thought to myself…

What if I could share this with others? Would they want to share their own experiences as well?

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