… until I can grow accustomed to the dark.
The name of this blog is a dedication to one particular run, which is very special to me.
Earlier this year, a good friend of mine sadly passed away unexpectedly, and apart from the grief the event itself catapulted me into a mental hurricane of existential questions. In this shell-shocked state of mourning, I found myself lying awake at night; my mind wrestling with unhelpful thoughts and questions for which I am not sure there are any answers.
I was tossing and turning like that for a few hours, until I finally decided to take a stand against the intellectual self-harm. I wasn’t getting any sleep and I was miserable, so the logical thing to do was: do something else. I needed to clear my mind, and there’s one way I know that always works. And yes, it does involve a pair of trainers.
Going for a run on the wrong side of midnight was, perhaps, not the most rational thing to do; but then again, this was hardly a situation that had so far been helped by rational thinking. I did have the mind to give a flying thought to the potential dangers of running in the weary dark of night, and therefore decided that a run on a long beach was a sensible option. After all, it is flat by definition and even I with my infantile sense of direction would have to try awfully hard to get lost while running on a beach.
In the early summer, the nights struggle to get truly dark here in Scotland, so I did not take any lights with me. And I needn’t have worried, as I was treated to another one of nature’s delights: the beautiful glow of a full moon.
The night itself was peaceful and silent, in stark contrast to the war that was raging in my heart. I ran hard that night and broke the stillness with the rhythmical sounds of my breath and the dull thumping of my footfalls in the sand. Guided only by the light of the full moon and my desire to move forwards, I ran for two hours along the waterline.
Slowly, the gentle lashing of the waves calmed my pace and I tuned into the rhythm of the night. With every step, the pain and anger slipped away a little more and the peace of the night began to embrace me. Before I knew it, the night was starting to step aside for the dawn.
The spectacle of the sunrise was magnificent that morning, and my spirits rose with the new day and raging, scarlet sun. In that moment, the world made sense again, I was feeling calm and powerful and capable of finding joy in life even when it decides to dish out some painful challenges.
I don’t always run by the light of the full moon; but sometimes, it sure is a great idea.