Shine on.

4 January 2007

Over an hour before the crack of dawn, it’s typically pitch dark. A full moon however, can often provide decent light. Yesterday, the moonlight was astonishingly bright. Everything glowed.

My friend and I usaully wear geeky runner headlamps to see in the dark. This time however, such gadgetry was not needed. The gravel road leading to the trails was illuminated powerfully. Long shadows were cast by trees and we could more than easily see our way.

moonlight on the trails

Around one bend, the sky was utterly dominated by the moon. The road was positively showered with light. We had to squint. The moon recedes from the earth at a rate of four centimeters per year. It’s getting farther away all the time. You could hardly have convinced me of that me of that yesterday.

How could we resort to headlamps once the road gave way to the darker trails? Artificial light would sully this sublime experience. We’d lose the beauty of the moment by polluting it with our high tech presence.

Reluctantly, we lit up and entered the trails. Twenty yards in, I thought better of it and turned off my headlamp. It was quite dark, but the ambient moonlight made the trails navigable. I instantly felt at peace with the run; at peace with myself. The moonlight filled the quiet, pre-dawn trails with something like a still reverence. I ran feeling distinctly alive, enjoying the trails as perhaps I never have. Running felt easy, carefree, effortless. Potentially breaking my face on a dark trail seemed a small price to pay.

I bristled at the thought of sunrise. My only regret was that I didn’t wake up earlier and run longer. I prefer sardonic wit to reflective prose, but I’ve got nothing ironic to offer about this run.

On Wednesday morning, the moon shone, and I enjoyed it immensely while it lasted.

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