What makes us fear the dark? The dark is the great unknown, the dark secret within all of us, just waiting to be let out. It brings on that moment we shutter when we hear a sound, or the stare of a stranger that sends chills down our spine.
I was walking my dog tonight for the last jaunt of excitement that he has before we head to bed for the evening. I began to think on what makes us feel so different when we go outside at night in comparison to the day.
The sunlight during the daytime gives you that reprieve, that sense of all knowing of what will happen, along with the increased sense of awareness you have as you make your way through the day. The night comes with intrigue, change, unprepared and unknowing of what could happen at any moment. Honestly, what could really happen though? Usually nothing…you feel fear or an extra sense of awareness of every sense in your body. When the wind stirs, you sense it. When something moves across the street, you are aware. If someone walks towards you, you automatically assume there is something aggressive in nature that this person could intend. Have you ever walked past someone and tensed up a bit, in the small chance that they might actually try to do you harm? 99% of the time, it’s a complete illusion that you’ve built up in your mind. Could the stranger feel the same as you do? What if they have had startling situations in their past, where something did happen to them in the dark? How will they react different as they pass you by?
There are so many amazing things that happen during the night and we miss out. Many creatures arise from their sleep and take to the night, because that is what they have adapted to over time. Is it that our bodies have been built for the day light, where our visual acuity has heightened and our sense of awareness is improved? Or could it be that we all have watched too many movies over our lifetime that play on our misconstrued notion that light is good, night is bad?
Have you ever thought of our ancestors going in a different evolutionary direction, and deciding to prey on the night instead of letting it prey on them? What if over time we adapted better to the night and switched our body rhythm? Maybe when it became day, your senses weakened as opposed to the opposite? You felt safer during the night because it was your comfort zone.
For me, I’ve watched too many movies, news stations and read too many novels that touch the other side of the puzzle. Which is probably why I have evolved to enjoy the day over the night. If you were to take a walk through the woods at night by yourself, how would you feel? It’s an intense sensation that I will leave you with as I get back into my house, fumble into my bed with my tired dog, and say good night to the wild and unknowing world cloaked by darkness. I’ll awake again in the morning, when I’m safe in the light.