Running in the dark

Awake very early without reason – and none is needed. So here I am, well before the dawn, jogging on the towpath in the dark, by faith not sight, torch strictly for emergencies. Merton believed that after God created the day and the night he preferred the night. He is surely right. So do I. Fragments of thoughts and prayers scatter wide and breathless as I go. I startle a duck. A fish splashes in the canal. Somewhere near, an owl is praying too. It is the same prayer – every fifteen seconds or so. The one thing necessary. That is wisdom. In the far distance the heavy thrum of motorway traffic is already swelling and congesting on the underbelly of the clouds. But now an early dog walker passes. He has strapped a floodlight to his forehead. Like an incontinent flash photographer, the world is brutally exposed wherever he turns his attention which, at this moment, is on what the dog has just left on the path. The dog looks dazed. Possibly embarrassed. Probably wishing he had brought sunglasses. Turn it off! Only here in the light do I stumble. When all the world is light we start believing very strange things about ourselves. 
Darkness returns. The day has past. The night lies open before us. And here, a long while before dawn, all is rolled away. Height and depth are immense. All waits to be discovered. To pray with one heart and mind. 
I come running, oh my God. 
I come running.