Thursday, March 11, 2010

Joys of the Dark

Changes of season are always tough for me, particularly in the turning colder months -- even in the Spring, though it takes me a while to adjust. It takes me a few days (or in the case of winter a few weeks) to relax and adapt to my surroundings. The pure, simple joys of Spring hurry the process -- warm temperatures, clear blue skies, and the smell of knew growth all around me make it hard to stay grumpy. Self reflection and self reliance give way to a communion with the environment, movement towards extroversion.

Late winter brings about a confusion of temperature, and likewise makes it difficult to dress just right. Yesterdays run began in sunny warmth giving way to a frosty night when the sun went down. I wore a t-shirt and capris which proved just barely sufficient for the conditions. I began last nights run not with a sense of excitement and adventure but a sense of 'when will this be over'. I spent the first miles feeling uncomfortable, just a little too cold, the camelbak fitting just a little off, traffic just a little bit too heavy for me to get in the zone. Some runs are like this. Despite my love of the sport sometimes I find myself just muddling through. Luckily with the setting of the sun I found my motivation rising. In the calm of the darkness I found the kernel of pleasure in my movement through the landscape. My eyes adjusted. Occasionally a car or another runner would pass, but for the most part I felt it was just me and the trees.

Not sure what it says about me that I sometimes prefer the cold and dark to the light and the sun. Sometimes I just feel like a renegade, deriving pleasure from going against the grain. There's a certain beauty in the darkness, in stillness, in the inner reaches of the self -- it's subtle, internal. And yes, I love the obvious pleasure of the sunny day, with a slight breeze, trails filled with happy runners and walkers. I love the sun, but I find myself treasuring the dark in a way I never thought I would. I welcome Spring and longer days, with a nod to the loss of the pleasures of darkness.

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