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Spineless In the Running

Was this a bold endeavour or worst-case high risk plot? In one sense I was caught between two poles apart concerns. One must never underestimate indeed trivialise a devilish difficult decision. A decision that may return to haunt me without recess. Rumination and recrimination during all life’s phases are firm statistical likelihoods. To join a six mile fun run for desperate persons was the quandary at hand. I lived in a picturesque town endowed with stunning scenic features not found in glossy tourist brochures. But like most spots it was prone to cyclic downturns. Broad umbrella groups organised the aforementioned fun run. A constant sight for goodwill staff to have their stainless steel bowls, coin drops even raffles among a raft of approaches for raising funds. Such activists who campaign for the voiceless, those on margins, invalids with harsh ailments deserve support. Who could be so callous as to show complete indifference when human feeling was at stake? Of passers-by there were slight numbers but I hasten to report our giving spirit had not yet reached its bland nadir. Some might infer that matters of such ilk preoccupied this writer who had the option to dwell in a modest but ample modern flat. Another dwelling did unfold, ironic dwellings whilst I cast fleeting glances at what might seem resplendent. At thirty one my physique was fair-to-middling. Only recently had I warmed to wellness clinics, yoga, meditation, athletic training, muscle tone which one’s doctor was apt to stress. How match fit those other runners might be was mere conjecture. Pros and cons did somersault inside this head of mine that though participation was best council. Rare possessions, grand adornments, fine antiques I bought on impulse posed an eerie stark dilemma. When it comes to shunning due behaviour home inducements might skew further action. Awkwardness, gaucherie, self-consciousness, are that collective burden which must not lessen staunch commitment. Having noticed that plum shade decor I was privileged to enjoy with gourmet kitchen as centrepiece a choice was born. Structured in an algebraic fashion with dovetail proxy style it resembled a museum. Sink and tap head shrouds first port of call for morning tea. I have some duties which I’m honour bound to meet. Steps from this house could be granite-laden minefields. Rugged pockmarks gouged out by a chisel from that tyrant called the elements. Sumptuous garden plant designs, however, purged inherent sluggishness within. Their spectral hue and blossom droop gave my world an eye bright fillip for “project generous” nearby. On a warm summer noon an earnest massive group assembled where a carnival atmosphere rendezvous held sway. Labyrinthine does not begin to do justice to idyllic settings that would enthuse each one germane to this event. Well known figures, renowned for kindness and their sense of humour were taking part Along the way it was so heartening to see the many families express approval in vibrant waves. It began to make some sense as things dawned about real gestures and their import. If I had stayed inside at home I’d have lost a vital part of me. Scruples forever nagging about failure in my life quest had to happen. Doubt surrounding gumption and the will to soldier on must surely linger. I managed to sustain this inner dialogue while attempts were made to keep pace. Another thing I could have been deprived of was this rich and royal canvass I now imbibe. Lush briars might scrape my fragile hand as flies drone overhead. Prickly hedges dripped with beads of squash black fruit that bask in a sticky sun-lit mist, Birds in flight who blithely scrape and scratch taut grey twigs to shed. Startled creeper on a dart from tree to tree, as my fellow joggers had this struggle to continue yet we somehow fed off each other’s innate drive. One could never savour this enchantment from a comfort zone. Footpath verges had grass shoot flicks that cavort in a light south-east breeze. Haywire brambles whose overlapping tentacles stretch o’er mounds. Star shape brown leaves a cover veil for random sharp spikes. Hazardous but still a charmed repertoire beyond the heavens not witnessed if pointless fear had forced me to cave in. Altruism vied as zeal with stamina depleting trial yet this mind kept absorbing awesome splendour. To retreat is blatant folly whilst grand chapters sprout huge exponents. Wafer thin cloud frills weave kaleidoscopic azure blue sky. They added to their scope by graceful skirting off rooftops and distant rock forms on urban outskirts. Vivacious youths cast fresh encouragement which was good for morale. I paused whilst taking stock. “Keep going. We know you can complete the course. It’s a credit to you. Youth clubs will benefit.” Kindness as impetus in train. To get involved was the right thing to do after all. As the race drew to an end there were still more diversions. Exotic whiffs of bombay mix, tofu essence, soya oil emanating from market hubs. Docker’s raucous voices with threadbare naval yarns drowning out their ship’s foghorn blast. Tone poem chapel bells whose dulcet peal transmit vivid flourish. But at last I sauntered past the finish line to handclap raptures from officials and well wishers alike. Large sums were raised and allocated. Yes “I chose to run” from housebound cowardice. In retrospect, I’m glad I did!

Copyright © | Year Posted 2022

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Book: Shattered Sighs