THE SLEEPING CITY

I spend a lot of time in cities around the world, and love getting up before dawn to watch these great cities awaken.

I wander the streets searching in vain for a coffee shop that dares to start serving their miracle brew before the main rush begins.

It is interesting to watch as the great behemoth begins to stir, and as flickers of light from the first vehicles dart to and fro across the streets, like fleas on the wrinkled brow of an old dog.

Then, without warning, bike riders dart past with their blinking lights barely discernible. These lycra encased swarms surge out of the darkness, all talking loudly and sweeping past like a herd of mad cows on their release from the milking sheds.

Next comes the early morning joggers, silently winding their way through the gloomy backstreets of the awakening city. Most are lean and fit and have been doing their routine for quite some time, but every so often along comes a rather rotund specimen, sweating profusely and panting like an old steam engine lumbering up a steep slope.

Amazingly, as the light of day appears so do the swarms of ant-like workers, criss-crossing each other’s paths on their way to their place of employment.

Purposeful yet purposeless, these people who are the backbone of society begin to fill the city, resigned to spending another day labouring over piles of paper on a dusty desk, or sitting though endless meetings being reminded of useless procedures, or being a number on a production line – all in an attempt to make another dollar to improve their world outside of the city.

Last of all, as the day now grows in stature, I watch the advent of the day-trippers excitedly looking forward to sight-seeing and shopping in this concrete jungle of delights.

Nothing quite compares to this potpourri of sights and sounds and, as I collect my morning coffee, I realise that it is to this world that I am sent as a messenger, with the good news of a city yet to come, whose builder and maker is God.

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