The White Cliffs of Dover are cliffs which form part of the British coastline facing the Straight of Dover and France.
Reaching them takes all day, up this steep muddy trail lined with grazing horses, the windy sea, and just chuncks of wet earth... oh, and there's a sweet Dover Medieval Castle in the distance.
Of course, I threw on a pair of old sneakers and raced out there. Got buckets of rain poured on me, hung out under a tree watching foxes chase rabbits with a couple of bleating sheep... it was cool.
Actually, it was a wonderful introduction to the fortifications of England and the amazing history this country has...
It also reminded me of one of my favorite Shakespeare passages from King Richard II, no... not "A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse..." That's the other guy, Gloucester.
The cliffs also have great symbolic value for Britain because they face towards Continental Europe across the narrowest straights of the English Channel.
They are composed mainly of soft, white chalk with a very fine-grained texture, composed primarily of calcium carbonate formed by planktonic algae... (My brother Grant the science teacher would be excited).
The cliffs continue to weather… wreathing is different form erosion. It is said that if scientists came in and tried to clear the algae, the mountain would soon crumble.
I like that England is not grooming itself but just letting nature take it's course. I run up the muddy banks that overlook the sea and stand shivering in the wind. There are swift waves of grass blowing over. There is a fence made of stone and wood and wire. There is the smell of salt from the crashing surf and the drying sweat on my neck.
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England” -King Richard II, Act 2 scene 1 – William Shakespeare
My legs are caked in dirt and my shoes are soaked, but I stand out on the edge of this once vast realm and try to think about how the world changes whether we want it to or not. It just keeps spinning. There's power in these cliffs, in this wind and vaulted climb. I turn back toward the stone castle and continue running out over the hills. Alone in the tall grass, the blowing wind at my back, sprinting beyond what can be seen from above.