Friday 17.06.2022. Evening

Hottest day of the year in England and Wales. And Spain and France. Unnatural. It’s still warm in the house when I go to bed, and I hear mozzies and flies and bees that mistook indoors for outdoors when they saw the light of my lamp. Yesterday’s mozzies and flies and bees lie dead on the windowsills. Tomorrow I will find the ones serenading to me now similarly disposed. Unless they find their way out, to another light in the night.

Junction of paths in Wendover Woods, June 2022. Photo by Jessica Zarins

Went for a longer run in the morning, tried to find new routes around the top of the hill that is Wendover Woods. Came to a junction of paths where I could either turn back the way I came, turn right where I’d run yesterday, or go left on a tiny footpath I didn’t know. Forward was the wrong direction, I knew that. Going right would be the sensible way here, as I knew the route would be nice and lead to where I wanted, even if not how I wanted.

But going left could be the new route I’d been trying to find. I’ve never been a person to turn back the way I came, but am I becoming a person who takes the safe, previously travelled road? I don’t want to be that person. I want to trust myself and my sense of direction, that my quest for the new and unknown will be rewarded.

The decision suddenly became about so much more than an exercise route, and I made myself go left even though I didn’t really want to. It turned out to be a beautiful little track I’d never been on, and that circled back to where I’d run earlier, on the path I’d refused to turn back on.

So one learning was that the unknown can be exciting and scary, and take you to new places. But it can also end up making you start over from where you began, which can be a place of safety.

The other learning was to not read too much into this this stuff, and consult a map.

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