I’ve always loved the night. The dark isn’t silent, not by any means, but the noise is a different kind entirely from the hustle and bustle that happens during daylight hours. It’s a soothing sort of sound, the noises of night – much like being out in the wilderness far away from any sort of civilization.
Yes, it can be spooky. And even dangerous at times too, depending on the degree of darkness in any particular place. I’ve been scared in the dark, of course, but it’s very rare for me to be scared *of* the dark. Darkness is my friend, toning down all the visual and mental stimulation that threatens to overwhelm during the day.
Darkness, of course, is rarely complete, especially outside with the stars and moon and whatever other lights happen to be shining in one’s particular environment. Sometimes when there’s a thick blanket of snow on the ground and a thicker layer of clouds overhead, it’s just as bright out after midnight as it was earlier than afternoon. And often I can see the stars and constellations right from my backyard, even living in the city as I do. Our neighborhood is lucky in that respect.
My eyes rebel against too much contrast, but even so, there’s not much prettier than the lights of carnival rides on a warm summer night, brightly twinkling against a sky that looks that much more inky for the bling held up against it.
When I was young and more reckless than I am now, I used to hang out in parks with friends into the wee hours of the morning, talking, philosophizing, swinging on swings. I’d lean against my latest crush’s classic white VW bug and trying to stay downwind of the weed he and another friend were smoking (I was always too scared to try it myself, control freak that I am, but I’ll admit to a contact buzz every now and again…). Or I’d climb with other friends through the sandstone caves on what we fondly refer to as The Rims, tall cliffs above our city that practically beg for parties and exploration expeditions well into the night, when running into rattlesnakes is less of a concern and falling several stories down through a boulder laden-landscape is more of a possibility than any teen will admit to.
Bonfires, confessionals, serious conversations and wild rides of the adults-only kind all need the night like humans need air – the darkness offers both protection for conversations that can’t be held any other way, and security for those who need the courage to broach difficult subjects. The night keeps many secrets, but it convinces us to part with them just as easily.
Are you afraid of the dark? Why or why not?
If there are monsters under your bed or in your closet…have you tried talking to them?