As a child of the suburbs, I’d never known true darkness. The literal darkness, not the metaphorical kinda (which I could see in myself and others easily). If I looked out my window at night, there were at least 100 visible light sources, let alone the lit night sky from the city 20 minutes away. Even in the darkest room I could simply flip a switch or open the door and remedy the problem.
And then… camp O_O
This literal darkness was stumbled upon in the heart of the woods (mountains). One summer. Virginia.
I was up late at the front office working on a video project for the camp. On my way back I realized quite suddenly that a couple street lamps were out in the middle of my path. Having only traversed this road in daylight, I was not expecting the blanket of darkness waiting ahead.
There was no way around this darkness. I didn’t have a light on me. No fire, no phone, no glowing frisbee. Anything would have been nice, but not even a lightning bug was in the trees that evening.
One step after another, I carried myself away from the front office and into the black. Every possible noise set me on edge. The fear of the unknown rose so quickly inside me that I couldn’t breathe for a moment or two.
Not prone to running (ever) I decided that it was finally time.
So I ran.
But running made it worse! I felt like making all this noise, stomping my feet and breathing like a wild beast, would mask any aggressor (human or otherwise). I was suddenly either a newspaper statistic or the female lead in a cheesy horror flick.
So I stopped running.
By this time, I could at least see some light up ahead. An ocean wave of metaphors clouded my vision. All the comparisons of dark and light, the Word being the light unto my path, Christ being the light of the world, etc, etc. After a short but breathtaking experience like that, I’ve had a higher appreciation of light - both literal and metaphorical.
What you can do: 1) Visit the woods. The places with no one around to hear you scream, and obviously the pitch blackness you may encounter, are truly humbling. 2) Just take my advise and appreciate the light! You don’t always have to go through something yourself to learn from it ;)
Thanks for reading <3