It was freezing. Well freezing for us from the Sunshine state of Queensland. About 6 C (42F). Our homes are built for the heat, so in winter they are often cold, and we do not use heating. Getting out of bed in winter on a cold dark Sunday is hard. But I knew it would be worth it. I couldn’t not get up. I had a hot date with a cold beautiful day.
By the time I got to Surfers Paradise beach, just 7 minutes drive from home, the really deep reds of dawn were gone and the light was stronger. On days like this, when the air is crisp, the sky is cloudless…there is something about the quality of light that is so much sharper than in summer, when a haziness creates blurred visual boundaries. Everything is sharp, and almost hard from the quality of light. Its the difference between a Picasso and a Monet.
There was a guy in a truck who pulled up just after me, with a coffee and a guitar. I wondered how many times he started his Sundays like this. Alone with his guitar on an almost deserted beach as the sun crested the horizon? I didn’t hear him play. I looked for him when I came back from my run, but couldn’t see him. His truck was still there.
I ran north, up through Narrow Neck, and then Main Beach and onto the trails that go to the top of the spit. It is only about a 6 k run to the very end of the spit from down-town Surfers Paradise, but when you are in the grasses and trees of the spit trails, you could be anywhere in the world. It is part of the reason I love living here. From the artifice of Surfers Paradise to the beauty of the spit, all in the same hour of running.
There was a man and his dog, the man on his bike, the dog on a lead. The dog was towing the man for quite a while. Further up, the man set the dog free to run, and sniff, and run, just as the dog liked. I suspect this is a daily ritual. There was a joy coming from the dog that was palpable.
As I run through the tree’s with the rising sun on my right, I experience my own lazer light show. Full light, then dark, again and again, from tree to tree. I am mostly blinded. I think to myself, I get the disco lights but at dawn, on a run, in a forest. How lucky am I.
At the turn around point I stopped and went to the beach so I could simply breath it all in. A few people where doing yoga in the dawn sun. There were several walkers. It was too cold and too early for the army of walkers who would arrive in the next 30 or so minutes.
I am thinking to myself..how do I capture these thoughts? For this is no ordinary day, in an ordinary Universe. These are no ordinary moments. These people, who I do not know, are no ordinary people. Somehow, all of us, in our own way, have managed to find a door into heaven. And together, but alone, we have shared the most beautiful of beauties. The dawn of a midwinters day, by the beach, on a day that will never come again. These random strangers, each having made the choice to get up from a warm bed in the dark, are part of me. The immensity of all of this, the beauty, the collision of experiences, breaks open my heart.