Reflections of my soul
The dogs run ahead of me. I am not as sure footed as them on the foot trail from Elstree connecting to Red Road Park. Autumn leaves carpet the path underfoot. The stillness of them signifies to me that at least for today, I jog down a virgin path.
The clocks have gone back by an hour. Autumn has been kind to us so far. The temperatures in the day have rarely dropped to single digits. Although this early in the morning it is bitterly cold and windy. The hood of my sweatshirt keeps moisture out and my face warm. The jogging bottoms are completely wet up to my knee from last nights rain on the leaves. My shoes brand or colour wiped out with the mud that completely cakes them.
Despite the cold, the jog has made me sweat, so I don’t feel it as much. I check my heart rate on the watch – 130. Not bad at all considering I have been jogging for a couple of miles now. The endorphins have kicked in and I feel good. Finally we arrive at the park. The dogs now mere dots in the horizon as they have raced away. I finish my stretching. Undo all the exercise by lighting up.
The first cigarette of the day and nicotine burst makes my head almost float away from my torso. Two more long, hard drags and I quietly sit down on the damp bench and reflect.
Everything’s about me. My excuse to that is I am an extremely sensitive sod. A wee bit of a Hippy Che Guvera type. My wife always says that one day I will withdraw to being a complete recluse and go live in the jungle. Our only agreement in it would be somewhere in the jungles in Kattaragama. This can of course be as much as my winning the lottery. Of course then building a shrine to Lord Skanda and living in seclusion. Other than for a flock of dogs. How I would cope without my arrack, vodka, and pork curry is of importance. The bonus of course is I could smoke more weed, an important aspect when especially praying to Lord Shiva.
I digress, my apologies, these are all but part of my recent reflections. I am an old man now, 47 years. Old in comparison to most of my friends. Them still young, me still young to those who are in their 60’s. All relative really.
But as I grow old, I have continuously explored reason to my time on Earth. Selfishly I know that whatever anyone may say, my best times in life are gone. I have been diagnosed with a lifelong condition. I can’t run as fast as I used to now. Occasionally the gears of the car grind when I shift from 2nd to 3rd. My arm and foot coordination not as fast. If I over exercise, I take longer to recover.
On a plus, I am a Grandpa to a beautiful Grand Nephew. My daughters in sixth form (A/Ls to us Sri Lankans) and academia assured. She’s a brilliant student. So the stuff I look forward to has changed. I celebrate more the accomplishments of those around me much more than mine. I have failed as an ad man. My own set up nothing but truly just a long, dreary and sad dream, a nightmare.
I reflect more about life now, to be. Peace within myself. The fact that I am mortal. Maybe too early, but expecting the fact that my time on earth is not eternal.
I have done enough good, what more mayhem can I cause?
The dogs come running towards me, soaked and covered in mud. Jumping at my pocket where the yellow ball is. I butt out my smoke, throw the ball as far as possible and scramble after them.
A broad vista of rolling grassland jotted by an occasional tree stretch out into the horizon. The first train of the day goes hooting by. I am ready to head home. Everyone will hose themselves clean with the back garden hose. Breakfast, wash and back to the life of a rat.
“When old words die out on the tongue, new melodies break forth from the heart; and where the old tracks are lost, new country is revealed with its wonders – Gitanjali, Rabindranath Tagore”