Besides the empty road that leads from the village to our place, there is a dirt road that continues past us. It turns to dirt and mud as it winds slightly down hill. The road goes through fields, fallow for the winter. There is a second road that goes up the hill behind us. It is nicely paved and zig zags at least 20 times before it flattens out for a bit. Then it climbs up further to a smattering of few house. I've only run up to that first flat spot, admiring the nearly three hundred and sixty degree view.
Do you remember Rocky IV, when he was training to fight against the Soviet champion (Dolph Lundgren)? Rocky moved to Siberia and trained for months in the brutal weather, using very simple exercises to get back in shape - chopping wood, running in the snow, pull-ups, and so on. This was the Rocky that went back to his roots, in a way, like Johnny Cash and American IV: Man Comes Around.
Well today, while running by myself down the dirt "road," I felt a little bit like Rocky. The wind was at my back, the hill was in my favor, but I knew that both of those would be against me on the way back. A mob of cows was being herded uphill, dogs yapping away. The clouds hung low in the valley and the mist was palpable. I chose my steps carefully, avoided the mud pits and cow pies, and fell a smooth (but tough) breathing rhythm.
In no way is our life like Rocky's but I still felt the same solitude, in a good way. We are in the middle of nowhere and there is nobody with whom we can talk. We have only the same rudimentary exercises to keep fit and healthy. We are forging a simple lifestyle in a relentlessly changing world. We are living deliberately.
Everybody finds their own inspiration. It on this day that I am glad to have watched at least one cheesy, shamelessly American-centric flick from the eighties. Rocky - thank you.