Every so often I look at my past year’s running journals. This time last year I wrote: “early morning fog and cool–still waiting for Georgia heat.” I was about six weeks away from leaving Athens and much of what I had thought/planned about my young professional life behind me. Only twelve weeks after that note I was on a plane bound for The Buda, as my Dad calls it, and for this whole new version of me that I could have never even predicted existed. I’m not sure if it’s the secret self that comes out from hiding when you become a traveler, or rather that once you pass through that thick skin of fear for stopping your plans dead in their tracks and going in a different direction that you become, well, really happy.
I had a really strong sense of it on Monday night when we stayed at Györgyi’s Dad’s river house. Last year this time I knew that I would be living in Hungary for a year. And the same is true for this year, as I’m planning on staying for a least one more. I had to change a lot of things about myself to be here, to live like a European. It’s not easy to start to see the world in a different way, or see oneself in a different way. But it’s important work and probably one of the reasons that this spring I feel totally different than I ever have before.
I’ve always been fond of April, have never really believed it is the cruelest month. Actually, I think it’s quite the opposite. April is also a really kind month for runners. Neither too hot nor too cold, I also have my best runs in the early spring. I’m looking forward to passing Parliament every day and looking out on the blue Danube just as the sun is rising and visitors are slowly waking up on the riverboat hotels. And hopefully I’ll look back on my running journal entries years from now and think, wow, those were some really good and peaceful times.
And finally–look at Alfi’s drool. He’s waiting for a bite of a croissant-like pastry, which contains ham or cheese or maybe both.
He got some.