Sometimes I run at night. Before I say anything else, you should know that I’m not a runner. I don’t have the right technique, or shoes, or enough tight, brightly-colored articles of clothing. I don’t even have a stopwatch, or a GPS chip in my shoe, which seem to be important for tracking things like time and distance. I’m pretty sure my breathing is all wrong too, which may explain why I get tired so quickly. That has to be it.

There aren’t many streetlights in my neighborhood, which is where I run, mainly because it’s so close to my house. It’s like running in complete darkness. In fact, it’s so dark that I can’t even see my inadequate running shoes, or my wrist that doesn’t include a stopwatch. My baggy, dark clothing is probably flapping in the wind, but I wouldn’t know, because it’s so dark.

It’s kind of tough to see where you’re going in the dark. And it’s a little scary too. If I had my choice, I’d take the light over the darkness.

There’s this one street in my neighborhood that’s not like the rest of the streets. What I mean is, it’s not dark. For some reason the street lights are plentiful on this street, and the bulbs never burn out. I’ve always assumed that the guy who’s in charge of the street lights lives on that street, or maybe Trace Adkins is still waiting for his girlfriend to come back. Either way, it’s a welcome sight on my frightening night runs. When I round the corner onto this street, I feel different. Suddenly, I can see my steps, I can see what’s ahead of me. And I’m not really scared anymore, because of the light.

I’m not sure I would truly appreciate the street with all the lights if I hadn’t started my run in darkness. I don’t think the lights would seem as bright as they do now. I’m not sure I’d feel as safe as I feel, or look forward to rounding the corner and seeing my way again. It’s just that sometimes we need the darkness to truly appreciate the light.

I read a quote the other day from Leonard Cohen that said, “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” It made me think about running in the dark, and how much I love that one street with all the lights. And it also made me think about my story, about some of the darkness I’ve run through. I thought about some of the decisions I’ve made, people I’ve hurt, and moments I wish I could have back.

It’s easy to feel things like shame and guilt when we remember our darker days. And when we feel those types of emotions, we usually just try to forget about all that stuff, not bring it up, or stuff it down a little deeper. But what I’m learning is, cracks are okay. Living our lives with a can of spackle, desperately trying to hide what we don’t want other people to see robs us of the light that will satisfy us. What we’re trying to cover up only keeps us in the darkness longer. So maybe it’s time that we turn the corner. Maybe it’s time we stopped trying to be someone that we aren’t and let the light shine through all the holes and cracks that led us to where we are today. Out of the darkness, on a new street, a street with plenty of lights.

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Categories: I Digress

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One Comment on “Light”

  1. May 29, 2012 at 8:46 am #

    your right we learn from those past events so hopefully not to fall down the same cracks but it all makes us who we are now or in the future 🙂

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