I’m afraid of the dark. There, I admitted it. I know it’s silly to be on edge half the time; I know I’m Too Old to be afraid of the dark, but here we are. I don’t like dark; it makes me feel panicky. I sleep with the hall light on, and always leave a light on when we travel. I tell husband it’s so we don’t bark a toe if we get up in the night, but it’s really because I crave light.
Have you ever been in a really dark place? A moonless night, a power outage, the back of a closet? Can you think how it made you feel?
The darkest place I’ve even been was a cave in Kentucky, when the guide suddenly turned off the lanterns. I was fine, clutching my light source. I didn’t know he had a remote switch. The darkness was tangible, pressing all around me, so thick I could feel it, and my instinct was to RUN. Had my legs not been paralyzed by fear, I would have been out of there so fast-!
In Hawaii, we got up at 3am to drive 90 minutes to the highest mountain top just to watch the sun rise. We met a few dozen other crazies at ten thousand feet, all huddled in the cold to watch the day begin. In that place, there’s only a sunrise once out of nine days; the rest of the time the day just gradually brightens. The day we were there, the sunrise was glorious, as if God invented new colors just for the occasion. As the first threads of light flamed the horizon, the group applauded.
I’ve never driven anywhere to see darkness, and I certainly never applaud it.
I love light. I crave the stuff, like other people crave water when they’re thirsty. What is light? It's the absence of darkness, but it’s so much more. When we’re in the light, we can see farther, and possibilities open before us. In light, our spirits rise, we physically and emotionally feel better. We say, “come see these pretty colors,” and “look what I found.” That’s harder in the dark.
We’re busy. We’re all busy. We can’t do it all, but we can do a little bit to push back the darkness.
President Gordon B Hinckley said, “Try a little harder to be a little better.” I’m not much for New Year’s Resolutions, but hey, I can do that.