Monday, 12 August 2013


I ran in silence yesterday on the Heath.

Before I set off, I said to myself just run for an hour without stopping.
And so I did. But I did stop after 40 minutes to look at the swans.

For months now, I’ve been watching them.   I watched the mother swan sit on the nest.  
I watched the eggs hatch.
I watched the baby swans swim.

So I stopped to see how they were doing. 
They were bigger now, still grey and they sailed towards me in a row.

I wasn’t watching alone. 
There was a woman next to me with two small children watching too.
It started to rain gently.
Tiny concentric circles formed on the pond.

The mom said: “look, summer-rain”.

The boy in her arms said quietly: “the sun is crying”

I wasn’t quite sure I heard properly. I asked him to say it again. And he did.
I said; “that’s beautiful”

I was glad that I was there and I was listening.
I was glad I had gone for a run and stopped to see the swans.
I was glad to hear the leaves in the trees.
I was glad to hear the universe talking to itself the only way it can.

I heard the universe again while I was running today.

It was before I even got to the swans.
I ran past a woman sitting on a bench next to the path.
She had no teeth, leathery skin and had little stuffed animals all over her.
She smelled slightly of urine.

She called out to me as I ran past: “Keep going, you’ll get there eventually, wherever there is”

I ran past the entrance to the ladies pond which was finally open again following the death of a woman my age. She had silently sunk into the end of the pond and never came out again.  They found her body at the bottom of the pond the next day.

I borrowed an old swimming costume from the life-guards, changed out of my running things and dived in.
I swam to the far end of the pond, thinking about what the crazy-lady had said.
I was afraid as I swam to the back of the pond.
I imagined monsters pulling my feet down into the darkness.
I forced myself to swim on.
I saw a heron at the back of the pond.

I thought I don’t know where I am going. I have no direction except forward.
I took off the wet swimming costume, dried in the sun, put on my running clothes again and kept running to my car parked at the top of Bishop’s Drive.

On the car radio driving home, I heard the universe again.
It was Jimmy Cliff singing Many Rivers to Cross.

This is what he said:

Many rivers to cross
But I can't seem to find my way over
Wandering I am lost
As I travel along the white cliffs of dover

I wonder what I'll hear next...


  1. כל העולם כולו גשר צר מאד, והעיקר לא לפחד כלל...