The lightness of being in the dark – reconnecting with nature

Last night I sat quietly outside in the dark. I don’t know for how long but, in a way, this makes it more meaningful.The sky to the North glistened with stars and my eyes drifted across them from West to East. I dreamed of other worlds, other life. Soon the stars vanished and re-emerged as broken cloud began to fill the sky, something I remember registering as a child.

I could hear a plane’s low whine high up, and I instinctively tracked ahead of the sound to discover lights blinking before watching them disappear behind the mist. I thought about where this plane might be going and why.

Closer to home, a tawny owl was deep in conversation with another far across the valley. I wondered what they might be saying to each other. I recollected, these weren’t the usual mating calls.

Lost in thought, I felt a whisp of air across my cheek, as if my daughter was kissing me softly. I couldn’t see a thing; another breeze on the same cheek then a whirl of a wing. I soon recognised these were bats after the small moths around me. They were unafraid of me yet aware and I concluded it was a privilege to be so near them.

Experience, to me, is both sense-perception and reasoning through innate inquisitivity. Whether this equals knowledge or truth is another step, one I’m exploring through study right now.

But I think, in a similar way, we may sense and ask questions of ourselves by embracing these nature-connecting experiences more often, and in the engineering of our own consents rather than allowing others to grant them to us. In doing so we might just cultivate self-trust, discovering more light in our personal darkness than we ever thought possible.