Saturday, June 8, 2019

The Dark

I’m always amused when people move out to the country and get to experience how absolutely dark it gets out here. Those new people are easy to spot. At night their places are lit up like a baseball stadium. Moving from the city, even a small city, they never get to really experience the night. Usually they fear it.

It’s funny when you think about it. For most of human existence we had no lights at night. Then for thousands of years it was the light of campfires. There’s something about campfires. The bigger the fire, the more darkness is revealed.

When I was a very young child my dad taught me not to fear the dark. He showed me how it was rarely truly dark and how to take advantage of what little light is out there. Even when it’s pitch black, there are ways to sense what’s out there. Instead of fearing the dark I started to think of it as a big warm blanket that covered everything.

Perhaps we are missing something when we don’t get to experience the dark. Studies have shown that our mental health is improved by being around nature. Even being able to see a single tree can improve our mood. Being on and around bodies of water has been proven to be restful and healing.

Electric lights allow us to break free of our body’s natural rhythm. That can’t be good for us. Heck, maybe that’s one more reason so many of us are a little crazy. Of course, it could just be be that modern civilization has left us all more than a little sleep deprived.



  1. This winter, in Arizona, I ventured into the night, capturing the milkyway in the dark sky. I soon realized that I wasn't the only creature awake at 3am. I could hear wild burros and coyettes talking to each other. It was sort of a calming expereince.
    I fear not the dark after my military training of navigating in total darkness without any artificial light. Dark nights are like exploring deep oceans...Not our normal daily enviroment!

    1. It must have been a beautiful experience.

      I guess we own the night. :)

  2. When I was a kid I wood run to the night time woods if bullies were chasing me. For some reason those big, tough bullies were afraid to go into the dark woods after me. I have always felt save in the woods.

    1. Usually the most dangerous things out in the world are other people.