Last thursday, a black night the end of a black day, I set off for training all by my lonesome, the savage wind howling its din in the dark, the words of Burn’s apt:
The wind blew as ‘twad blawnits last;
The rattling showers rose on the blast;
The speedy gleams the darkness swallow’d;
Loud, deep, and lang, the thunder bellow’d:
That night, a child might understand,
The deil had business on his hand
Admittedly there was no bellowing thunder, but there was everything else: millions of speedy gleams in my headlights and debris strewn everywhere on the road, branches and twigs, puddles the size of Loch Ness, near, that threw up great waves that seemed like they’d drown me each one I drove through.
It’s not normally a hazardous thirteen mile journey over to Bowden, the wee Borders village where we train Mondays and Thursdays and monthly on Sundays – although with the inclement weather it can be at times.
Most days it’s preferable to alternative routes: the busier A7 with its dazzling lights and slow Sunday drivers, creating convoys of loathing. And sometimes its special, like today when coming up Hassendean three deers crossed my path, and further along a great bird, a buzzard, I think, took off from a fence post lining the road and I watched its slow flight over a field; or in summer and harvest when the very same fields are a picture of bales, golden in glory.
This night, however, it wouldn’t have surprised me to see a tree come down on the road as I went, such was the wind, and perhaps it wasn’t the wisest to be sticking to habit. Not that I cared – the point of this post – trees like swinging punches might fell you sometimes, but the danger is worth it.
And I’m liking this thinking. It’s not that I’m hard or pretending to be someone I’m not – I don’t often take headers into a fire. It’s just I like making peace with uncomfortable things, high winds and tyrants; high winds things that come into your life uncalled for and callous, like weather and storms; tyrants old fears and crappy thinking and unfortunate folk who get in the way of contentment.
Storms and objections, fear and doubt…whatever…
What to these things are we needing to say?: So what? and So be it, and sometimes Bring it on ya Bastard!
The way is not always clear; just like the other night when I drove through those massive puddles and the water from them on my windscreen blocked out the light, there is often a great deal of unsureness as to where you are headed.
What pleased me about the road I took this night, however, the very same road I’ve taken a hundred times over to Bowden, was my commitment.
High winds and tyrants once stopped me taking this road: a grumbling belly or a hard day at work. Excuses, excuses. Nowadays I get myself going no matter what. I know that if I don’t train whenever I can, I am being less than I am wanting to be – and that isn’t my way.
- Forecasters warning of 90mph wind (bbc.co.uk)