September is always a true reminder of the seasons and just how temporary things are. The long days give way to the the darkness, which slowly announces itself like an old familiar friend. The telling signs of the shorter days are marked by the sun starting to hang lower on the horizon and the air taking on a crisp texture, feeling like you’re breathing in crushed ice until you adjust to it.
The park starts to thin out in the mornings from the bustle of warm summer days, leading eventually, in the days to come, to the everyday runner, once the autumn marathon races have been run.
The routine of getting up and going out for that daily training session is what comforts you through the changing landscape of the seasons. Watching out for small but significant changes which most would miss. The way the animals behave, the leaves starting to curl, plants putting all their energy into seeds for future years or the late season chicks scurrying around the canal in search of food.
I look forward to these changes, like meeting an old friend. The familiarity of it all. The cold embracing you like it’s missed you whilst it’s been gone, the darkness enveloping everything, with only street lights piercing the night sky before dawn approaches. You spot dogs running through the grass with red lights on their collars, looking like laser pointers, the old man who is up every day at 0530 for his morning walk through the park, for no other reason than it’s his routine too.
Slowly the spring marathon runners start to appear one by one after Christmas. You’ve hoped for snow but there’s been nothing more than a fresh crunch underfoot but you’ve still managed to get out there because, lets face it, this is who you are, like the grain which you feel running through a freshly cut piece of wood, so does running form the grain of what you are. A Runner.
So as the season changes, I stand here with open arms as Autumn greets us and I secretly wait for my old friend who is waiting on the horizon to greet me one morning and join me for another run.