The snow is falling. I have a cap on to try and keep it out of my eyes, but it’s more designed for keeping the sun off my face, and as a result, the peak is obstructing my head torch. I keep fiddling with the beam and my cap but it’s no use, I just can’t get it in a decent position.
Until a minute ago, the path was very dark and very wet, lit only by the glow of an occasional streetlight.
Now, the trees are clearing though. All around me, everything is white. There are hills on my left and my right, but I’m in the valley between them. I’ve passed all the housing estates and apart from the occasional farm, the space is wide open around me.
I’ve given up with the head torch and the cap.
Now, the light of the moon combined with the brightness of the snowy fields and hills means I can see perfectly.
My shoulders drop, my arms relax, there is a little more spring in my feet and my lungs fill that bit easier. My heart feels fit to burst.
I get to the 10k tree, and turn round to head for home.
Across the valley, I can see car headlights picking their way up the Crow Road. The snow is quite heavy now. It’s Wednesday evening so a couple of miles away, just over the hills behind the Crow Road, my friends are out running. I’ve chosen to head out without them tonight. I give them a wave in my head. I love their company, but I also love my own.
I run across two wooden bridges. My footprints from earlier have disappeared, and the deeper snow is soft as I pick my way over carefully.
I’ve seen two people in 6 miles.
When I open the door, two furry heads lift from the sofa with a slight jangle. They are past getting up to greet me, it’s far too much effort and they both know they will get their ears rubbed if they wait just a minute.
I lift a couple of back legs belonging to the nearest sofa-sprawled dog so I can sit down, and their paws fall and relax against me. I sit for a while, enjoying the warmth of the room, and listening as my breathing slows back to normal.