Thursday, September 26, 2013

under the night sky

A [night sky classified as] Bortle Class 1 is so dark that it's bright. That's the great thing - the darker it gets, if it's clear, the brighter the night is. That's something we never see either, because it's so artificially bright in all the places we live. We never see the natural light of the night sky. -Via here.
When I was in high school, I spent a few weeks of each summer working at the camp I grew up attending. Those first few years working there, the only thing I was old enough to do was waitress in the kitchen. It was mostly grunt work - in the kitchen three times a day, sweeping and mopping the whole dining hall every night, washing out ketchup lids and reshaping butter sticks (yes, we did that). But we got free time in between meals and at night. In August we served rental groups and had fewer restrictions on our free time, which meant we had the chance to do all the things we'd always wanted to do at camp but didn't want to risk getting in trouble for. One time, a few waitress friends and I slept outside on the dock by the lake. The uneven wood boards were terribly uncomfortable, but we were there for the experience of it. To say we did it. Except that in the middle of the night we woke up wet from dew and unable to really sleep well. So we bundled up in our sleeping bags and grabbed our pillows. We'd forgotten a flashlight, since our plan was to return to our cabin after the sun had risen. The first part of the path back was under a dome of tree branches and leaves that blocked out any light coming from the night sky, and we couldn't see a thing. We held tight to each other and took small steps forward so we wouldn't trip on anything. We'd traveled this wide path hundreds of times before, but without any light it was completely foreign to us. It wasn't long until we made it to the clearing and the night got lighter around us.

I've been thinking about walking in darkness and how scary it can be, and how it makes me want to find some kind of light, any kind, to break the darkness. But really, if I'm able to resist these urges, the night can be light on its own.

Reminds me of these verses from Psalm 139: If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

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