I ran today. My contact lenses could prolly use a wiper, 2 seconds interval. And could somebody please get that backpacked heater invented, stat. Nonetheless, I do love running in English weather, in the rain, in the cold, amongst the swan, and dogs, amongst umbrellas and prams, amongst boots and walking sticks. I have a lake. Its not mine nor its not in my backyard, it’s at the backyard of the God, of a very very old (when they say old in UK, it meant really old) Abbey Church where I threw my toga and hats off last year. I kid my guy at that time that since the ceremony would be at 9 am, I could still go for an hour run at the lake and go straight to the Church for a quick sprint to my diploma.
I call it my lake, because the lake is where I go to when things happen in my life. I ran there every morning last winter, hopping off slates and ices just to tire my lungs off the appetite of smoking, I ran when I quit smoking, I ran when my grandmother died, I ran when my extension visa first got denied, I ran again when my appeal was granted, I ran when my guy, the “guy” who had been my housemate, my workmate, my tennis partner, my Manchester United Memoirs Lecturer, my lover, and my bestfriend all in one Thai boy baby face went away-for good. But I don’t call him my boyfriend, because we were never official, because I'm always afraid to put a label and a commitment to a relationship that could easily be cut off by Immigration rules and visa expirations. Not that the British Home Office is liable for my relationships fiasco.
Anyways, so I ran. I ran because I felt I may fly. Because I felt I may actually run so fast that I might even escape time. I ran in the rain when Im upset because it merges with your tears making you look less scandalous and less awkward in public. I ran during Sundays because I like smiling at the kids who got no problem smiling back at a galloping Asian girl, and I like looking at families, and though it made me miss mine more, it made me feel that though the culture here is reserved and private, people are really kin-tight and are kind enough to give me a bit of way and an encouraging smile as I dash and excuse myself from the swans and the ducks, and yeah the humans too.
I ran during British summers because it’s the only time of the year I reunite with the sun, a few minutes of reconciliation, and it gives me the forgiving half-cooked blush. And I love looking at ice cream vans, and kids and not-so-kids lining up for a mile. And then I found myself joining the queue. I forgot about my calorie meter and the next half mile I’m suppose to finish. But then I forgive myself for this is the only time my anatomy could take in an ice concoction.
I haven’t seen this much of the whole town gathered in the lake for an afternoon of the very timid British sun, and I think only one event topples the attendance, the Beer Festival. Though, Beer and Cider cans makes frequent appearances too during summer afternoons, along with all English Strawberries and Cream, Wimbledon, and BBQs of bangers, Lincolnshire sausages, and Irish steaks.
And then comes autumn, when you ran into a cushion of leaves, when your clothes are thicker and heavier, and your shorts turn into trousers. Then it rains. And you need a hood and a scarf, and probably a plastic coated-body. And then it snows, then now you need a miracle to run or a tefal coated skin.
I ran and smell and see and breathe Britain in all weathers. Sometimes I run to runaway from England itself, sometimes I run to runaway from myself. But nonetheless, I ran. And it felt really good.