Monday Photograph #52

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As a child I had a fascination with wild places, and in particular forests. Probably a combination of being exposed to them as magical places where adventure took place (I am of the Smurf and Asterix generation after all!) and their relative rarity in Athens where I grew up!

One of the very few memories I have of doing things with my father as a child is us going as a family up a mountain to some woods close to where we lived. If I close my eyes I can still see the moss-covered tall, white rocks and the forest trails…

There were also wooded areas closer to my home, but they disappeared during the ’80s, becoming plots of building-land and then ostentatious houses with no gardens . By contrast, I found luxury in being able to wonder, and play, in the outdoors… looking through the trees and not being able to see the edge of the wood. If there was also a stream or river, then my happiness was complete!

Which is why now, whenever I find myself questioning whether I have made a success of my life or not, all I have to do is go for a run in Swithland Wood and the surrounding hills and forests: without fail, I leave grateful for the beauty I am fortunate enough to have a 20′ drive from my front door; and not only that, but I am also blessed with good health and fitness that allow me to not simply visit the woods, but spend almost three hours running 17 miles through them, up hills and through hidden pathways…

On the balance sheet of life, that must surely be some asset!

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