By: Dr E.W. Gordon
There’s a place I go sometimes, I’ve been there in many guises. Some days I’m a runner flashing through, nothing but the rhythm of my breathing and the steady beat of my feet as they briefly touch down on the uneven surface. Other days I’m father and husband with my child safely stowed on my back as she casts a regal and inquisitive eye over the landscape; some day soon I’ll become her teacher but not on a subject she’ll find on any curriculum. These lazy hours with wife and child are perfect recreation for the soul. If it breathes there’s a good chance my little backpack monkey has scared it away long before we’re anywhere near with her cute yet annoying, quiet but oh so loud blah blahs and gurgles. These journeys are still important to me; they affirm my position in life, as patriarch of my little homestead: even on these clear-cut paths Mrs Doc could soon become uncomfortably lost, not that she needs to panic of course, I’m here. More than that though once you remove creatures and critters you are left free to explore the things that move at a gentler pace; patinas on logs, the clouds and how they affect the dappled light upon the land. There will always be a bird but invariably it’s a weather beaten Crow or the ever present Pigeon – brave enough to let you pass so close but somehow the first to disappear when spooked. Or maybe they flee with such commotion they’re the only ones we notice?
Today was different though. I wasn’t running, I wasn’t being father, husband or any of the other titles I have pinned to my chest, today I was just being me. I was alone and dressed in earthy tones, with hair which stopped ‘needing a trim’ months ago and has long since passed into hobo chic. I looked every bit the hobbit, though I’ll defend to the very end that I was simply blending in. It serves another novel purpose too: the public at large don’t tend to engage me in conversation. My shoulder doesn’t have Gore-Tex emblazoned across it; I’m not a walker. Though my jacket is cotton it’s not waxed, I’m no farmer. I may have camouflage trousers but I carry no gun, I’m no soldier. I’m no hippy, nor am I a Ray Mears wannabe. I sit squarely in the middle of everyone and no one just where I like to be.
I am Freedom. Who are you?