Day 362 Mile 362: “Always remember, Frodo, the Ring is trying to get back”… No Really! Charles Walter Smith (below) is my maternal great great grandfather, and was born in 1838.
It is one of those weird arcs of serendipity or narrative, that during my time at university (roughly 250 miles from where I grew up) I moved into a village on the coast, where, unknown to me Charles and several other members of his (and by extension my) family had lived well over a century ago!
They used to reside in, and run a farm, barely 10 minutes’ walk away from where I now live. Although it is hard to pinpoint precisely which building it would have been, as over time boundaries and buildings shift, change and are rebuilt and extended. The road he lived on and the fields along with most of the buildings are still there so I can give it a pretty good guess.
My Dad used to wear Charles Smith’s singet ring (CWS monogram in reverse on the photo as a sealing stamp) and since he passed away earlier this year it has come to me.
There is something wonderfully super-symetrical about the circle of a ring from around 1850, owned originally by Charles Walter Smith being eventually inherited by Edward Charles Wright about 160 years later. In that time it has travelled through numerous countries and now comes to reside less than 10 minutes walk from where its first owner lived.
Tonight’s run is tough. I’ve driven over 250 miles today on the way back from Christmas visitations and I can tell. It’s probably just excessive turkey though! It is late, clear and is forecast to be the coldest night of the year. There is a wonderful feeling in being out under the star’s and able to see so many constellations. Orion now visible out of his summer hide away the mountains seems to jump at a jaunty angle and click his heels together mid hop in a very music hall kind of way. Running along the top road its directly over Charles’ fields and no doubt a view and re-affirmation of winter he would have been only to familiar with
It all makes my head spin a little, as well as making me feel like a very small link in a long chain, with the weight of custodianship thrown in.
If this year of running has made me more aware of anything it is the layers of history, narrative and culture that ripple out across the landscape like so many mist inscribed projector transparencies.
It would just be rude not to take it for a run past his old front door wouldn’t it!?
I’m running a mile each day everyday for 2017. If you feel you can sponsor me please do, as all the money raised will go to the Cleft Lip & Palate Association (CLAPA) who provide services all across the UK to support people affected by it.
Distance: 3096.2 meters recorded
(1 mile = 1609.34 m.)
Thanks as ever for all the support!