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dark starts

dark starts
words x sean hamilton
photos x dan marrett
every sunday, while the moon still hangs in the sky, some friends and I along with a steadily expanding group of early risers pack our shoes, headlamps, coffee beans and a propane camp stove and head for a new trail…
what we have affectionately come to refer to as “dark starts” is our take on the sunday long run ritual. It is about connecting with the vast nature surrounding vancouver, certainly, but more importantly it’s about connecting with each other and creating a positive tradition. it’s about turning a day that has been historically reserved for hangovers, sleep ins, glutinous brunches and pre work week blues into a cause for celebration, movement and exploration.
simple as a glass of water
Before the crest of blood red dawn,
or the creak of dust cloaked floorboards,
while the famished jays and the ruthless hawks
still own the whole, tired world below.

Before it all gets frantically dizzy
and the bustle grows to a menacing hum,
there is a said to be a muzzled tone
which stakes its claim, to an early morning.

With it’s frosted lawns and arching lamps
towering high, anointing the parked cars
with their divine, artificial, haloed glow.

Waiting at the cusp of more and more and more,
for the engine of it all to rattle to a start.

In these moments, it’s as simple as a glass of water,
disciplined and still, without ripple.
glory, glory, glory!
Good morning to a bright new world,
stretching its limbs as a sunrise over the hills.
Growing up against the hiss and pop
of a dying night’s embers.
It’s adolescence, a spring mist and a loon’s call.
Life anew, it’s gift to be held
with effort and care.
The twinkle of dawn – something I’d die for
if it asked it of me.
The truest beacon of feeling alive.
Glory, glory, glory!
Praise be to whatever maker may remain.
Atoms and dust,
the sturdy oak or the dying sun.
Dirt and soil, and a voice to shout
over the mountains,
beyond the pines,
yonder the crevice of valleys,
where the swift fox nests
and coddles new life
into the thrust of a tumbling landscape.
Glory! We are here to witness
the bounty and to take note,
of all the fleeting moments one by one.
For we are the lucky vessels,
privileged to stand on these soils
that lead to the heavens, waiting
just beyond the bend.
Passed the clouds and snow capped trees
awaits so much more.
Glory glory glory!
does it get much better?
Does it get much better
than a pleasant song in your heart,
on a clear spring morning,
after the rain has washed the night away?
a round of robins
There she was,
that motherly Robin,
doting on her round.
As tough as nails,
yet kind, like sunlight.
Nestled in the fescue,
searching for some meaning
in a crisp spring dawn.
A dream from which
she could not wake.

A day unlike any other.

faces of dark starts

about the author
sean hamilton

CHOP WOOD | CARRY WATER
runner | writer | explorer