I did something completely out of character today, something completely unusual for all those that know me. I went for a jog. Well, the beginning was a jog till I realised how unfit I was and "restrained" myself to a walk.
As the sun began to set on Saturday evening on Providence, I donned my sneakers and jogged out the backyard gate. The poddies, who had never seen anyone move at a faster pace than a brisk walk rushed at the sight of me jogging and watched me as I continued my way up to the next gate, climbing through between the rails to venture onto the driveway. The pace slowed to a walk as I watched my little dog, Lacey, bound from one adventure to another as things that rustled caught her eye. So to did things catch my eye. I noticed foot prints in the driveways dust of various species, none more fascinating than the little bird imprints as they crazily stepped their tiny steps, unsure of which direction they were going and what exactly they were looking for. They criss-crossed in a haphazard fashion along the driveway till they petered out. Another set of footprints I noticed was that of a cows. She seemed hellbent on heading for the grid. Her determined steps sunk deeper into the bulldust than that of the other cattle. Did those hoofprints belong to the cheeky cow who has made herself a rather comfortable life eating hay with the poddies? The native grasses that grow on the station not a good enough staple in comparison to the improved pastures on which she was raised?
A wild dog lay dead on the side of the driveway. A chilling thought that it was so close the homestead. This could be the same one that months earlier would slink around the bottom of the house paddock despite another being dead and unremoved from that same area. I hadn't seen that wild dog since we first moved here, I thought the baits had got it long ago. But still, there it was.
Being out in the warm air, trundling along, gave rise to thoughts. I wish I still lived out here. If there was something I could do, working from the station, I would still be here. I like the fact that our nearest neighbours were a further 30km up the driveway. A short distance in comparison to other stations. In town my neighbours are only meters from me and although they are not disruptive, I still feel as though they're too close.
As my walk continued further away, the sound of the diesel generator chugging along droned out. My hands began to swell from the sudden increase in excercise. The same thing used to happen to my mother. She blamed it on having poor circulation, a thing she was born with, not something that occurred quite simply because she was unfit. I'm not about to kid myself like she, I know my hands are swelling because I am unfit although that's something that's unlikely to change. But it's true what they say, that excercise releases endorphins. I felt happier while going for my walk. And I even think that it will be something I make a regular habit of during my return visits on the weekends to Providence.
As my chosen jogging path took a bend from off the driveway on to the fence of the holding paddock, Lacey's adventures meant that she didn't notice me move off the driveway. I stood calling and calling her over and over till she figured out where my voice was coming from and bounded and bounced her way back to me, even challenging me as she sped past me to race her. It annoyed me that she took so long to come when called. I wanted to keep moving, I wanted to keep walking. It was invigorating! So as she created little billows of dust behind her as she skipped and ran down the fenceline I was happy to be ambling along behind her. The sound of generator soon came back into ear shot and the sun had completely gone leaving behind only whispy streaks of pink and orange.
That walk, so unusual for me, gave me lots of time to think. Reflection, pondering and reasoning. My skin was clammy, but the excercise had made me warm, it even gave me those warm fuzzies that everyone keeps talking about. Yeah, I think I will make a habit of this...