Day 4: Embrace the darkness (31 Notes from Nature)

Day 4: Embrace the darkness (31 Notes from Nature)

Evening Joshua Tree National ParkThere’s something about the darkness that scares us – or maybe we’ve been taught to fear the darkness because of fairy tales, movies, TV, and the news.

I personally have been delighted to discover the magic and mystery of dark.

My husband and I visited Joshua Tree National Park for five days this fall. We spent plenty of time exploring nooks and crannies in the park during the daytime, but we also spent time at night exploring different “sights.”

For instance, did you know that spider’s eyes GLOW? They illuminate when your headlamp finds them. It is the coolest thing ever!

Have you ever heard the rustling of *something* in the bushes…and your mind starts screaming, “BEAR! COUGAR! Something BIG is coming that is going to EAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT me!!!”…only to discover it is a cute little armadillo or kangaroo mouse?

And have you ever experienced the sound of coyotes yip-yip-yipping to each other and then letting loose with the most fantastical chorus of howls that echo throughout the night?

And do you really, really understand how many stars there are in the sky?

It is so magical it’s hard to put words to it all.

Night time at Joshua Tree gave us these things and more…including coyote sighting (she had a rabbit snack in her mouth as she crossed the road in front of us), watching a meteor blaze across the sky over our camp, and participating in the sun set, seeing the light change from yellow to pink to purple to blue to black as the stars emerged.

Exploring a place at night is so completely different than seeing it in the daylight. I have found I am different because my eyes are no longer my primary sense. It’s my ears, tongue, skin, and even my intuition that step forward to assist my experience.

Try Embracing the Darkness for Yourself

We are just ending a harvest moon. If you fear the darkness, now is the time to step outside at night. The illumination of the moon should help your fear step aside briefly.

Go and sit somewhere – your back porch or even a park bench will do.

Let the night come. Listen. Feel. Taste. Look.  Greet the moon and the stars (because you are literally made of stardust). If you allow it, you’ll feel a kinship, a connection.  This might expand your ability to feel and sense comfortably without using your eyes.

Settle in for 10, 20, or 30 minutes. No expectations. Just be there, in it. With it.

It’s a magically different feeling. Gentle reader, be part of the night and let the darkness embrace you.

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