Rutland Slow Time
I hear the water lapping against the shore edge as I run. I look out upon the clear, blue water, speckled with diamond lights as the sun reflects off the liquid surface. A flock of sheep going somewhere by themselves, no humans telling them what to do. They bleat, they communicate with each other. I notice a mother sheep sitting by the water’s edge looking out onto the horizon, her baby lamb sitting next to her. They are enjoying the wonderful scenery just as I am ! I enter a space dominated by swallows. They dart from left to right, right to left, up and down, down and up. They eat the midges that fly through the air every so often en masse. I find that if I see the cloud of midges early enough I can avoid them bumping into my face simply by stepping to one side.
I feel disappointment. Today there are no waders in the spot where I saw them only last week. A pair wiggling around in the marshy land. Then I am in awe because I notice a pair of birds that I have not seen before at Rutland Water, with a couple of chicks. It touches my heart that they have chosen this place to start their family. A special place. I realise that no one day is ever the same, that each time I run I witness different things and experience different surprises.
I run past apple trees heavy with white blossoms. I breathe in the aroma and for a time the smell helps me forget about how tired my legs are, having run over 12 miles by this stage. In the same way that I have become absorbed by the landscape, the landscape has absorbed me. I feel part of a rich biodiversity, and experience the generosity of nature. Somehow the landscape and its creatures have transformed me. In the same way that my steps have left an impact upon the ground, the environment has impacted upon me. I have entered Rutland slow time – no worries, no beginning, no ending, just being. This experience of time is truly a gift, in today’s society of fast cars and fast living. Where I am there is only an expanse of contentment, a hidden message of peace and joy.