Darkness calls me with its power.
I love night’s beauty. .. the magnificence of day blind stars, the aurora borealis yanking audible awe from my throat, moon sprinkling diamonds on snow, the forest breathing more slowly as trees, quite literally, fall sleep.
I am more invisible in the dark which makes me feel freer, more at home in my own skin – even, dare I say it, safer – no flashlight reveals my whereabouts, no fire reveals my face to the other. I can more easily slip into that sense of oneness with the black womb around me.
Creativity flows and dreams quicken in the winter. I love the inward turn of focus – possible only for those of us lucky enough to be able to adjust our frenetic schedules to account for seasonal changes. Like hot house plants, we northern urban two-leggeds live like summer all year long, forced by indoor heat and artificial light to keep producing. No wonder we have a new disease called SAD ( Seasonal Affective Disorder ). I doubt we’d feel so sad if we considered it normal to slow down in winter. With weekly regularity, perhaps, we might curl up under a blanket and sleep longer, respond creatively to the dreaming night, cuddle together near the living room fire and tell stories, sing songs with friends and families, share food and hot drinks.
I grieve the shortening of night, maybe because we never celebrated its lengthening. We seem obsessed by the light as if it were our only guide, our only friend, the only medicine good for us.
Hibernating bears teach me about the dark. I am blown away by the white forest bears who still live in BC and may have lived inNorthern Europe, if we can believe some of the old stories like Valomen. They can’t dig dens the way a grizzly can because their claws are too short. Dependent on the old growth trees which hollow out as they age, the white bears burrow into a tree for the long nights’ winter, the females, hopefully, pregnant and dreaming perhaps of new life coming, salmon eggs spawning, seeds gathering momentum for the great splitting open of Spring.
How could we thrive without the respite of dark?