I used to be afraid of the dark. Once my brother went off to college and it was my job to bring the garbage cans up the driveway to the street, I would drag them up at top speed, then turn and sprint back to the safety the inside of the house. What was I afraid of? Goblins? Witches? Some kind of supernatural evil? Who knows, but I'll never forget the one time it was pitch black and raining and I was running so fast with those trash cans that I almost ran straight into Mr. Heath and his little dog, out for a walk in their matching slickers. I think we both scared each other a little, but he certainly was no warlock.
Somewhere along the way, I lost my fear of the dark. I spent more time walking around in the woods at night and found out that nothing really changed except it was quiet and you couldn't see as much, and sometimes the sounds were different.
And some time after that, I grew to really enjoy walking in the woods in the dark, especially when the moon is out. There's something so amazing about seeing your shadow created by pure moonlight.
If you haven't yet tried a nighttime wordless walk, this weekend is a great opportunity. The moon will be close to full. Go to a place where you feel safe. Bring friends. Find a picturesque location to watch the sun set and the moon rise, preferably away from artificial lights. Still your mind and just breathe and listen and be. Stay long enough for it to get really dark so you can see your shadow by the moonlight. Marvel.
And if you're in the New Orleans area, you can join me this Sunday at 6 p.m. at Jean Lafitte for a sunset/moonrise wordless walk. We'll meet at the Bayou Coquille parking area, and you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. No matter where you are, if you haven't tried nighttime wordlessness, give it a try and tell me what happens!