Apr 13, 2009

The Labe

I wrote this blog a few weeks ago. I need to post it since already the scene is very different down at the park. It is spring and the trees are budding but here are my running thoughts anyway:

The Labe River runs through the town of Litomerice where we are living. If you know your European geography well you might know it as the Elbe as it's called in Germany but it starts here in Czech Republic. It is the Labe first.

It begins in the Krkonoše Mountains ("The Giant Mountains") and flows west through northern Czech. The Vltava river which runs from southern Czech through Prague joins the Labe and the waters flow northward into Germany through Dresden and Hamburg and finally empties into the North Sea.

It is a beautiful river. Here in Litoměřice, although it is flowing swiftly, it often appears as smooth as glass. Both Miro and I run along side it through the parks which are only 5 mintues from our front door. We are usually the only ones in the park and we are always the only ones running. Apparently the outdoor run has not taken off in the Czech Republic.

After my initial embarrasment of running through the main streets of town, where no one is ever seen in sweats and runners, I find myself next to the tranquil Labe. At this time of year it seems the sky is perpetually grey. Although gloomy, it permits that there are very few venturing into the parks so it is as if I am running on my own private estate.

Last week I had a magical morning: "It is that kind of morning when the temperatures and humidity are just right for a light misty fog. The trees stood tall and dark encircled by the mist. It is so perpetually damp that their trunks are covered in green. Their naked sillouettes are a comfort in the midst of all the grey.

"I notice ducks and a few swans along the rivers edge. Then I notice the clear stillness of the river. A group of 5 swans in perfect V-formation begin to desend on the river. They are so quiet as they glide closer to the water's surface. Synchronized, they land on their own reflections and begin to swim."

It was a great morning.

So I perservere and keep running like a fool through the streets. It's good practice for when I get odd stares while trying to order bread at the bakery in my mangled Czech. I hope you are all finding peaceful close to home.

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