Isn’t it striking that we’ve associated darkness with negative things, like evil and death? That we do everything we can to light the darkness, to keep it at bay? And that the villain in Western movies is typically dressed in black? Why is the heart of darkness assumed to be bad?
Darkness can be soothing and restorative, like when we surrender to the embrace of slumber, a necessary – and important – part of our lives. And when we emerge from that period of sleep, we look for the light to tell us that it’s time to stir and prepare for the day.
I think it’s the balance of light and dark that’s the most critical. Too much darkness isn’t good for us (e.g., we won’t make enough vitamin D in our bodies without sufficient sunlight), and neither is too much light. Without darkness, we won’t appreciate the light; the same is true of too much light.
Have you ever walked around in your bedroom when it’s completely dark and found that the familiar layout has, surprisingly, become unfamiliar…and discovered that you were walking toward a corner or the door of the bathroom, instead of the bedroom door? Darkness can be very disorienting for us. Nonetheless, we need the darkness as much as the light, even if we fear it.
We start in darkness and emerge into the light; from the light, we pass into darkness. I think that humans are happiest when there is balance in our lives…and when we consider the unknown or unfamiliar with an open mind. May you find balance – even if it’s initially outside your comfort zone.
Want to learn about something truly dark? Black holes are places where the gravity is so strong that nothing, including light, can escape. Such wondrous darkness!