What a show the universe put on tonight. In an impulsive move that will go down in history as one of my best ideas ever, I skipped training with AIK to embark instead on a solo run by the river. I took my headlight with me, thinking I was going to need it on the southern side path where there are no street lamps.
I didn't need the headlight. I ran on snow that many feet had trodden on, even, smooth, perfect. The trees around me almost formed a canopy, barren but for their white winter dress, sparse enough to allow glimpses of the Northern river bank. There, there were street lamps, casting an orange light on the thin layer of ice that lay in patches on the river.
But I spent little time looking around me. My head was turned up towards the sky.
I am completely convinced that, if people spent more time looking at the sky, there would be a lot less fighting in the world. For how can anyone hate when something that is so much bigger than us, eternal, beautiful, takes place all around us, all the time? How can anyone care about pride and power and material possessions when the real magic, the kind of magic we believed in when we were children, is not fairy tales but within reach, if you only put on a pair of shoes and go for a run on a dark, cold winter night and look up?
A quiet dance, a breeze stroking a curtain on a summer day, a rainbow, soundless fireworks interrupted by falling stars. One, two, three, four Geminids. The spruce trees laden with snow, orange light from the street lamps across the river, the sky above an undulating green. My footsteps light on the snow, I am alone, I laugh with tears of joy, I am a child again. I am comforted by the presence of something so magnificent in the face of so much despair in the world. I stop, I look up again, my neck already stiff and I'm wondering how I have managed to avoid falling into the river. Northern lights swirl so rapidly now, their tentacles forming a spiral so tight that it's like a solid ceiling over my head and I can't believe my eyes. I have seen them before, but never like this. You can almost see the particles hitting the magnetic field, like iron chips gathering around a magnet, and you see the pulleys and levers behind the magician's curtain, as if you've seen through the magic. Yet, when you look again, you see only beauty, and you're willing to accept the fact that you'll never understand it all, you are too small, and that's what makes it magic.