Friday, July 11, 2008

Darkness: Friend or Foe?

Darkness is not necessarily the absence of light. We consider the night to be dark; however, most often it is not. The moon and stars provide light during the night and a full moon can provide sufficient light for wonderful night-time walks. Truthfully, few of us experience total darkness on a regular basis. Our world is full of light sources, and subsequently, light.

On my way to work this morning, fog from the nearby river filled the sky, blocking the sun. I knew that the sun would eventually burn off the fog and illuminate the day to its full brightness. However, for the moment, I was enjoying that subtle light - almost a gray light - that filled my vision. This light was cool, moist, and comforting. It was quiet and soft. There was no harshness. My eyes were comfortable and as I drove into town with my windows down, the air was refreshing. I knew that later in the day the heat from the glorious sun would make the air almost stifling, so enjoying this moment was critical to my day.

I must admit that in earlier days I was a sun-worshipper. The perfect Saturday was spent sprawled on a rock next to the river, soaking up the sun's warmth and its rays. I would fall asleep, only to awake with limbs feeling heavy with the heat of the sun and my body and mind totally relaxed. The most logical action at that point was to jump into the cooler waters of the river and shock my mind and body to its full alertness.

Today, while I still love the sun, I prefer it is diminished doses and I often seek the shadows. I want to be kissed by the sun, but I want to be caressed by the early morning and late evening rays that are not at their fullest potential. I will throw myself fully into the night, where the light is less intense and does not generate so much heat. I love to traipse along under the stars, with the moon guiding my footsteps, and have found life to be quite exciting, in both the city and the forest, with the moon as my guide.

The "dark" is as much my friend as the "light." I often wonder why so many fear it.

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