Run your town // Running at Christmas

- Photos of Kevin Lynch 

The world is frozen. Time suspends its hypersonic flight. The morning light streams, sparkling. The air is cold. The surface, a few days after the ice storm, is still uncertain. You leave the house, its warmth, its people, its smells of the day after a big party and the dishes lying around on the counter.
One of your favorite times of the year is running on Christmas morning.
It's a break in the break. The madness of the passing days has stopped. The avalanche of preparations and gifts too. All that remains is to take advantage of the long hours that stretch out despite the shortness of the days around the winter solstice. For a moment, you extract yourself from the celebrations and you go out for the air, to swallow it in great gulps. The first breath rhymes with repair. Its freshness anesthetizes your bronchial tubes irritated by the conversations. It is invigorating.

You run and you feel, physically, your mind relaxing. Your shoulders relax. The pressure is falling. The reunion with the family has done you the greatest good. Going to bed late, laughing, eating too much and drinking too much. Don't be wise. You do not run to purify yourself of this, since these gestures are part of a vast deprogramming plan tempoto laugh. It was time for everything to stop, you realize it by walking through the streets, most of them deserted. Except for other runners, a few walkers, all of whom, like you, have come to take a break by spinning through the city, with no real destination. Endlessly. Move away the better to come back.
The Great March of Productivity holds its breath as you see yours, in the form of vapor, recede in your wake.
You don't look at your watch. You run for the gesture, for the pleasure. Because it is the gift you give yourself on this day of gratitude.
You tell yourself that all your outings, which are counted in tens or hundreds of kilometers, converge towards this moment, free of obstacles, and that the repetition of the gesture allows you to do so in complete freedom. Five, ten, fifteen kilometers are waiting for you. Distance doesn't matter. It is the ease with which you cross it that is delightful. A year of training your body for this: running for pleasure, in the purest moment possible, to do you good.

You zigzag in the streets to avoid the wind. The city protects you from it; you like to see her doze off like that. Giant in standby mode. Beautiful to see when she sleeps in broad daylight like now. You improvise your course as you advance. Ah, here's a street where you never go. You see families coming out of houses, lodgings, their arms laden with gifts and food. Faces tired, but happy. Children's cries resound like perfect chords. All in the major scale. That of happiness.
You file yours on the way back. The head jiggling. The heart in December. Yours are waiting for you, with your smell of cold air, your frosted eyebrows, your shoes marked by the (de) icing sugar spread on the sidewalks. They think you are brave. You just wish them to understand one day what you are feeling right now, as your body returns to inertia, vibrating with the beauty of the movement that is coming to an end.