Day Four: 3am - noon
Gerard Manley Hopkins once wrote, 'nature is never spent; There lives the dearest freshness deep down things'. Sometimes you can't help but be overwhelmed with gratitude that it is indeed so.
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil; And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil Is bare now; nor can foot feel, being shod.Admittedly we were, at the 10-day race, in the middle of one of the biggest bleared, smeared, smudged, smelly cities on the planet, but, despite that, our experience was one of closeness to nature. The lake in all its moods was our companion, the trees and the grass gave us comfort, the dandelion clocks kept time for us. When it rained, we got wet; when the sun shone, we got burnt. We saw the sky lightening; saw the sun rise; we watched its slow progress across the sky; we watched darkness fall, the moon - a sliver of light to shepherd us through the long hours of darkness. The cycles of the day, we saw and participated in. The routines of the birds and animals became ours. Even the phases of the moon we saw – the moon waxing fuller in the course of the race to grant us more light and comfort and guidance. We saw each day from start to finish; we lived each day from start to finish.