The grass is green, a deep and dark green. It's cool to my feet, I stand in the grass barefoot. While the grass is cool, it's still warm, I certainly feel warm. It's a comfortable warmth though. It's morning and the sun is gently warming my back. It's warmth penetrating deep, comforting my back, shoulder and neck muscles. It's not that my muscles ache, but the warmth none the less pleasant and welcoming. It's a serene sight, the grass stretches for some hundreds of meters until the road and the buildings behind it. Buildings meant to deal with the heat, large thick slabs of concrete, the windows relatively small and tinted to reflect the sun's heat.

It's by no means busy, but there's a liveliness to the area. People walking around and enjoying the same heat as me. Some joggers are enjoying the morning in a different way. I turn around and face the sun and can just about make out the trees in the distance. Plenty of room between me and them and plenty of people practicing the same things. They're standing there, enjoying the sun, enjoying the morning. Just as I start to notice the heat, a gentle breeze hits my face. I close my eyes and breath the air in as deep as I can. It feels as though the air is laced with life itself. The fresh air coursing through my lungs and it feels like through my veins too. Around me more people reach a similar conclusion and feeling. It revives me.

I take a deep breath in, holding it, and then a deep breath out, exhaling as far as I can. The sun is so warm, I can't believe how nice it feels. The deep breaths too, it's invigorating me. Breathing in, holding it for a moment I consider, what will I do today? Breathing out, there are so many options, swimming, running, walking or simply sunbathing. My eyes are still closed, but the repetitive taps of a group of runners passing by are easily identified, they follow a comfortable rhythm. I breathe in again, running it will be today, it's been decided. I breathe out and open my eyes. The sun clearly rose further, the shadows of the trees decidedly shorter.

Still surprised how uncanny the warmth of the sun feels. As the doorbell rings, I quickly take off my headset. The earbuds pop out and the pouring rain immediately takes over. I run to the door and take a package. Quickly I return to the VR set, pop it back on and expect the magic to continue. I return to the same field, standing there, but the spell is broken, the sun's warmth clearly virtual, the air clearly just my apartments. Disappointed I simply announce my departure, "friends, this has been really great, it was good to see you, but I need to get going." I lift the headset and put it away. In the bathroom I splash myself with water and for the briefest of moments the same refreshing feeling of the breeze hits my face, for a moment it rushes through me.

With the spell broken, I'm less enthusiastic about my plan to run. Especially as the fair-weather-runner I know I am, the idea of the rain starts gnawing heavily on the commitment I made to myself barely 5 minutes before. The air is dark and the rain drops big. It's warm outside and running under the hot sun isn't exactly part of my idea of comfortable either. I'm putting on my running clothes and the rain simply doesn't relent. Then I put on my shoes and the idea comes over me how soaking wet they'll be. I put on my headset and put on some calming music, something to comfort me. I step outside and almost instantly I feel my clothes getting wet. I look up and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight. There's no sense waiting. A quick stretch and I'm off before I cool too much.

The first 500 meters are behind me and there's not a square millimeter that isn't wet. The first kilometer I leave behind me and most of all it's regret I feel. It's dark and wet and I keep pushing to go on, I will myself to keep it up. Then the second kilometer passes and I'm in a steady rhythm, my breathing and my pace synchronous as I keep going on. The calming music dictating my pace as the sound of the rain passes away entirely. I only focus on my own rhythm. The music too fades to the background and all I'm left with is my breathing, a breath in, left right, a breath out, left right. I see the same path ahead of me but somehow my vision changes, I'm back where I was half an hour ago, in the field, the sun in my face, the invigorating air, the gentle breeze, a spell cast even if by simulation. Somewhere in the back in my mind, I'm still running and I know there's still rain, but somehow now I still get to feel like a fair-weather-runner.