It’s a long time since I needed a flashlight to see.
Not just shine light upon for greater clarity,
but really see.
We needed a flashlight at Mt. Carleton Provincial Park in New Brunswick.
(You travel to Bathurst and turn left and drive in the woods for about 100km and you are there.)
We were camping
in a tent,
in a place designated as a Dark Sky Preserve.
We had the gift of a clear sky
– and a nearly full moon
not so many stars.
Still, light slipped away
making solid the space between the trees.
And it was night.
Barbara Brown Taylor writes about her book, Learning to Walk in the Dark
“This is not a how-to book, but if it were, the only instruction would be to become more curious about your own darkness. What can you learn about your fear of it by staying with it for a moment before turning on the lights? Where can you feel the fear in your body? When have you felt that way before? What are you afraid is going to happen to you, and what is your mind telling you to do about it? What stories do you tell yourself to keep your fear in place? What helps you stay conscious even when you are afraid? What have you learned in the dark that you could never have learned in the light?”
I was afraid to go to the bathroom by myself.
(Well, not exactly a ‘bath’room.)
Darkness invites accompaniment.
Yet I’m a little sad I didn’t risk a solo journey.
I was aware (and a little scared) of the dark beyondness outside the circle made by campfire or flashlight.
What might lurk there?
A wood frog,
leaping through my circle of flashlight
startled me, momentarily.
Nothing more sinister than this,
despite how fear and imagination can join hands.
I will keep watch as this full moon takes its waning journey
for there is more to uncover in the spirituality of the nighttime.
What are your experiences of night?