Sometimes I run early, sometimes I run later

The days are getting longer, somehow. I know this intellectually, but it never seems like this at this time of year. Maybe it’s better if the days are longer than the night. We’ve probably thought that for generations. Because we can see and work and play and its just less dangerous.

I read a book about this, about what people did during the dark hours before electricity. It could be dangerous. It was a different world. You could be romantic about this; there were long nights on the moors. You could be practical; candles were precious. You could be poetic; you still look up at the stars and name the constellations. You could be fearful of this. People could ride their horse off a cliff they would see, or get mugged or drown in a pond.

But that’s about the dark. No one ever writes about the gloaming.

Sure they write about the gloaming. The Brits and the Scots write poetry on it. But maybe they don’t write enough about it. The word can be traced to Proto-Germanic, Old Norse or Old Frisian. Depending on which one of those you like, the original meaning could be different things. Some of them are fierce or triumphant or sad and lonely, at least in a modern connotation. Maybe more than one is right, which happens a lot in the evolution of languages. The word could come from different things because it means different things because there is a lot of darkness out there, below that line of the light. It means a lot of different things.

It meant, tonight, that I could run fast, but I could also run slow. It was about being warm, but wishing I’d worn my gloves. It meant I could feel great for four miles, that my feet or my knees or my lungs didn’t hurt, which was the only gift of the day. It meant I could run hard, run angry, without running any faster. It could also mean I knew I shouldn’t run five or eight or 10 miles, like I briefly considered, but wisely dismissed. The word never means wisdom, but maybe it should. That present participle look, that -ing, should hold a lot.

It only meant that no matter which way I ran, I was going to run farther into the darkness. Even if the days are getting longer.

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