This Itch I Cannot Scratch

Have you ever had the urge to run? To run and run and run, and just keep running. To run until you just can’t run any longer. Since my Dad died I’ve had this urge, like an itch that I just can’t scratch, and some days it is possible to ignore this urge and on other days it is all consuming, taking over every fibre of my being and distracting me from everything else. It’s as though if I run hard enough and fast enough then I’ll be able to escape my feelings, the thoughts whirring round and round in my head. The thoughts that invade my brain late at night, when I lay down to sleep and can no longer distract myself with T.V., or games, or stories.

At the moment I’m so unfit that I doubt I’d be able to run anywhere far enough or fast enough, but there are other ways I can get this feeling, this rush almost. I can feel it when I’m riding a bike down a steep hill with the wind whistling in my ears, or on the back of a horse galloping through the countryside. Both of these are only temporary measures, for I own neither bike nor horse, so I borrow when I can.

I’m sure my Mum is very glad that I currently can’t actually drive, because I’m sure if I could I’d have taken a trip, driving where the roads may lead me, stopping to walk through forests, up hills, and around lakes. A car would do, but what would be better would be a motorbike, simply for that same wind whistling rush, that sense of complete and utter freedom. The other thing I miss in the city is the lack of trees to climb, because even if I can’t run then I could climb, lay up in the trees, one of the other inexplicable urges that I get.

It’s such a tantalising urge, to run, and climb, and get covered in mud, to build shelters and fires. Something in all of this screams of freedom, and peace, and childhood, and something in my heart and my body that I can’t let go of.

Sophie

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