Lenten Reflections: Forty Things I Really Like And… (Day 23)–Darkness and light

Midnight hikes and bonfires. Perhaps, it’s getting into my inner Neanderthal, but I always found something very soothing about taking treks in the darkPhoto of person in Alaska when summer days last into midnight and sitting by fires. Sure, someone told me I should do the trekking to show that I was on my way to manhood, and with my fellow boy scouts, I would walk, pack on back, song in head, and fear under control, through woods, highland paths, unlit roads. But, would I have found a reason to do somethings like that without the prospect of another badge on my uniform? I think so.

The dark is mystery, and in that is adventure. I was a boy and liked adventure. What’s that sound? Twig breaking or animal creeping up beside me? The other evening, I was taking out the garbage and heard rustling in some bushes near my house. I saw the shape of an animal, ferreting (really) in the leaves. I stopped. I peered. I saw the muskrat. Was it rabid? I don’t know. Was I afraid? No. Should I run? No.What for? I strolled on and entered my house. Hero! I know that my little daughter finds the dark more than a little scary. What is it about not being able to see clearly that unnerves us, even in places that we know very well?

Now, I understand the attraction of the bonfires in the night.bonfire We can see again in what had been deep darkness. It’s not the marshmallows on sticks, though that may be worthwhile. The smell of things cooking can be enticing. But, the warmth and light are comforting. We can often stay beside those burning pieces of wood much longer than we need, even sleep there. Outside. Exposed. In the real dark, but with the flickering flames giving light, or the dying embers reassuring us.

It may be purely spiritual to wander around in the dark and then to move to the comfort of the light. Interesting.


About The Grasshopper

Professional international economist, recently retired from an international organization. I use blogging as a way of organizing my ideas and thoughts about a range of topics. I was born in Jamaica, and spent many years being educated, living, and working in the UK. I lived in the USA for a few decades, and worked and travelled abroad extensively. My views have a wide international perspective. Father of girls. Also, married to an economist.
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One Response to Lenten Reflections: Forty Things I Really Like And… (Day 23)–Darkness and light

  1. Inga de Reus says:

    Yes Dennis, there is something also quite mesmerizing about staring into firelight. It usually (for me anyway) makes my imagination run free. After staring at a bonfire (last one was at Burkes Beach on Old Year’s night), I felt exhilerated and ready to face the new year with an energy and joie de vivre unusual for me….. I think I need to light another fire!

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