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It Never Happened….

After nearly three miles of running along the beautiful sandy sea weedy ‘middle beach’ of Studland Bay, I reached the end and saw a line of traffic queuing to the edge of the water; a tall man who had run past me as I was running along the beach, was waiting there too with a group of cyclists…

They told me that I could get across for free, but needed money to return… Of which I had none, and so I resolved to come back tomorrow with Anadi, so that we could adventure onto the next beach which my new cycling friends assured me is very long…

Instead I ran along the long straight road with sandy trails and gorse and tufty grass beside it. As I ran through the toll for the ferry and the man on duty called out ‘You’re barefoot…’ I stopped and we chatted a while, and he recalled how years ago he had a job on the beach hauling boats in and out of the sea all summer long… ‘I was barefoot all the time…’ he said… ‘And that was on pebbles and all, by the end of summer my feet were as tough as if they were wearing shoes..’

After 6k of running along, I turned back again and retraced my steps; the grey blue sea weedy beach with its squawky gulls, made me feel like I had landed in a new film set…

Time melts and bends and feels like play dough in this life I lead. It makes it easy to let go and know that the past never was… It reminds me of a scene in ‘The matrix’, where Neo was being driven along, and the car went past a restaurant… ‘I used to eat there’ he said, then he paused for a second as it dawned on him, and he said ‘but it never happened’…

The life Anadi and I lead now feels like this, that walking through the sunny streets of Medina Sedonia – only last Saturday – never happened, it was all made up… All an illusion.

My morning illusion continued in glorious dreamlike rhapsody…

Imagine the beach, grey blue sweeping Dorset landscape; grey pin people walking in twos and threes, wandering, talking… For awhile I ran along a sand bank where the tide was coming higher, I paddled to the shore again and my steps took me past three people talking about their memories of holidays in Jersey…

A snippet, a shaft of light, as the window opened briefly into three lives that I will likely know nothing more about…

And then… The grand finale to my ‘dream’…

Running towards me came a fit brown man, he was barefoot too. This is what I noticed first… Another barefoot runner; until I saw that he was a bare all over runner…

A very brown and healthy looking bare all over runner… Jogging along, relaxed and at ease, my eyes of course were then drawn from his bare feet to his bare maleness, swinging brown and relaxed too – brushing each thigh as he ran…

‘You’re overdressed for this beach’ he joked – Or did he say ‘I’m overdressed…’ I didn’t quite hear him, as we met on the running route… I laughed… ‘You’re looking good’ I said ‘I’ve only got bare feet, you’re bare all over…’

I discovered later that this section of the beach is a naturist beach; and so it was I who was over dressed! And of course it is only what we are not used to that draws us to look more closely… If everyone wandered about naked we wouldn’t want to ‘stand and stare…’

But with new things, the child within us emerges; we drink it in, this new thing, looking and looking. A woman behind me in a queue to order drinks in a pub today stood looking down, transfixed by my feet – the way a child looks and looks and looks – drinking in the sights, the people, the energy; available for new things.

My feet make people ‘stand and stare’, but only because we aren’t used to seeing people walking about barefoot, in the same way I am not used to seeing men running bare everythinged… But looking is good; taking it in, adjusting opening to new things, ideas, sights sounds smells… Being curious to what is around us; open and accepting, available…

And if we look in wonder at bare feet in the street, or bare bottoms… Then why not look more closely in the solitude and privacy of our homes – really stare at the beauty of all parts of us; the whole of our bodies and those of our close people… The ones whose naked feet and bottoms we have become familiar with.

Taking time to stand and stare, and know anew what we thought we already did, opens us to everything moving and changing, being new in each moment… Because the past never happened, the future is but a dream and now – here and now – we are seeing everything for the very first time…

 

 

 

I have been running all of my life – it feels I was born to run. In the running step I experienced freedom and my true expression. I came to see that I needed to ‘get out of the way of myself’ and let my energy flow through the running step; allow it to express itself in the dance and the motion of running. I ran for England and GB for some years. My first international was in 1979, a three mile cross country race; and I continued to run at international level until 1993. Two of my best results were first place in the Dublin City Marathon in 1985 and 7th place woman, 3rd British woman in the 1986 London Marathon in a time of 2.36.31, which gained me selection for the Commonwealth Games.

As a little girl I ran barefoot for many years, and then I put on shoes to race around the world. Fifty years later I am travelling the world as a nomad with my husband Anadi and I have taken off my shoes and I am running barefoot again….

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Email : juliachitaylor@gmail.com

 

 

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