31 Days in which I Am Saved by Beauty – Day 3

It is dark as I begin.
I am an owl, a night owl,
so this early morning darkness
feels strange to my skin.
Yet it invites discovery.
I sense a secret, 
waiting to be unwrapped.

I gently close my lodge-room door,
walk down the lighted hallway,
the one on the outside
of the building,
searching the downward pathways,
the ones that take me past the art studio,
the gallery,
the large covered pergola,
the tennis courts.

I am hunting the jogging track.
One quarter mile,
circling through the brush,
winding a bit,
decorated with deer scat,
yet carefully tended and groomed.
Like everything else in this place,
a welcoming thing.

Slowly, the morning sun
makes itself known,
and as I reach the halfway
point of round four,
I stop for a moment 
on a bench, perfectly placed.

And this is what I see.
The darkness is fully rent now,
no more flash required,
that flash on my small pocket camera, 
the one that bounced back
at me,
reflecting only
trunks and branches.

Now I can see through them
to the river below,
almost out of sight,
down the grade.
The river that flows easily,
It does so in the light,
but also,
it does so in the dark.

In the feeble, clouded light of day,
I can see the path itself,

all of it – 
the edges,
the surroundings,
the general direction of things.
And somehow, 
it feels more real,
more solid,
more purposeful.

Yet nothing has changed.
The river,
the path,
the trees –
all of them are there
in the light and in the dark.

But sometimes it takes being in the dark
to fully appreciate the light.
Sometimes what seems hidden
in the dark
is not really hidden at all,
only veiled beauty, waiting
to shimmer in the light of day.

And sometimes we have to walk
the path when we’re not sure
where it is,
much less where it’s going. 

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  1. I too am a night owl hence the reason I am commenting at 2 a.m. from my humble abode in Atlanta. Your last two paragraphs stopped me in my tracks. I felt tears begin to well in my eyes. I am sensitive these days. Part of my new normal I am choosing to embrace.
    Thank you for sharing this story of veiled beauty with me. My word for the year is COURAGE, so this speaks very well to that. Much love to you.

  2. Hello there, fellow night traveler. And it’s a good thing to embrace the tears – because they are so very normal. Courage is a great word for the year! Hope you find more and more of it. Thanks for stopping by, Jennifer.

  3. Beautiful insights, Diana.

  4. Beautiful, Diana.
    “…veiled beauty, waiting to shimmer in the light of day…”
    May I learn to remember that it is always there, the beauty, the glory, the promise.

  5. Thanks, Patricia.

  6. Amen to that – I want to remember that, too.

  7. I’m feeling like that with parenting. When I hit these tough patches, I’m walking in the dark. Only later will I look back with light illuminating what is so hard to see at the moment. Sigh. I’m not sure right now.

  8. I get this, Ann. Parenting is the toughest job in the world – also the most rewarding. So try to focus on what you can see and trust that the end will be revealed, if only in hindsight! Love to you in the trenches.

  9. I love that path! I was there in the dark, and I had to keep hitting the button on my iPhone for light, only my button is mostly broken. It was rather frustrating. I think I missed all the beauty.

  10. And it really is dark! Especially on a cloudy night. There was full moon that night – but we never saw it, did we?

  11. Glenda Childers says

    Was this beauty enough to make you want to get up early again? I love that we are all so different. I am a morning person.


  12. Ha! Great question, Glenda. I did get up early on Sunday. On Saturday, I used that early hour to shower instead of walk. There wasn’t a whole lot of discretionary time, so the early morning time was it!

  13. I love this! I’m a night person, but an inside night person, not an outside night person. I’ve never quite gotten over being scared of the dark, and so I’m always suspicious that the night holds terrifying things rather than beauty. Thank you for a different perspective.

  14. Glad you found it helpful, Donna. It seems that a lot of what I’m finding with this 31 days of looking for the saving powers of beauty is the truth that so much in this life depends on our perspective. It’s showing up everywhere!