When I was a kid, I was so afraid of the darkness that I would have to leave my bedroom door open to let the light in from the hall. I would sit and stare at the pale golden light until I fell asleep, unable to keep my eyes open any longer. I’m not sure what I thought came with the darkness, but I knew it was something awful. With an imagination like mine, it was not hard to think of the horrors that resided in the shadows.
These days, however, the nighttime is my sanctuary. It is when I relax, read the news, check on my social media, and read my books. If it is reasonable outside (which it so often is not) I will sit on my porch, become entangled with the darkness, and quietly ingest the tranquility that is around me.
The night is so much more laid back than during daylight hours. The pace slows considerably, more of a sleek saunter than the rapid gallop of daytime. I can sit and read a book undisturbed, watch a program, or even enjoy a cup of coffee in peace and quiet – this is very hard to come by during regular hours.
For example, if I turn on the TV during the day, the little one begs constantly to watch “Clifford”, “Daniel Tiger”, or “Busy Town”. (None of these are on my ‘must see’ list, by the by.) Turn on any show other than these, and good luck watching it – there is noise to be made! Banging on blocks, singing, and nonstop chatter are the sound track when I attempt to watch an episode of “Psych” or any number of documentaries. I always find it amusing that once the offending episode is replaced with that of an animated program, silence is suddenly attainable. Then and only then can we enjoy television together. (I have to admit, ‘Clifford’ isn’t as bad as some of the kids programs I’ve seen.)
In the end, it is somewhat fitting that something that brought me so much fear when I was younger now brings me equal measures of solace. Most of the time, fear seems to be a lack of understanding; I didn’t understand the benefits of darkness, and therefore, I was afraid. Now that I know darkness is a cool, friendly shadow in which to peruse your dreams and wishes, I find we have a better understanding of one another.
While many try to “Seize the Day”, I find myself claiming the night.
“Slowly, gently night unfurls its splendor
Grasp it, sense it, tremulous and tender
Turn your face away from the garish light of day
Turn your thoughts away from cold unfeeling light
And listen to the music of the night…”
Phantom Of The Opera – “Music Of The Night”
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