Nighttime Confessions

“In the woods, we return to reason and faith.”

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In the space between day and night, there is a revered anticipation. The earth has no rotation and for that moment even the wind holds its breath. There is no past or future, only a moment when beginnings or endings are pondered. Which is it for you?

A translucent blue light shows you the black outline of your surroundings. Stacks of colored ribbons make up the sky starting with a vast violet blue to shades of orange and red ending with the blackness of earth’s horizon. When you blink you realize that the oranges and reds have evaporated and night has seeped into your bones.

What is night? It’s a time when you are left with nothing but what’s inside of you. Night can be our most vulnerable moment. We seek the security of shelter, a cozy blanket, or a warm hand to hold. The still of the night for some represents a time of isolation.

But I believe nighttime can be a time of healing and growth. I find it is easier to bare the secrets of my soul in the veil of darkness. Somehow the words seem softer and easier to manage when sieved through the air molecules of night rather than tossed around in the bold piercing glare of daylight. Time wraps it’s shawl around my shoulders during those nighttime confessions. There is no limit to how long it will take to ponder a thought. Tears are more forgiving and permission is provided to feel the nugget of pain rattling around in my heart. The moon is my confidante and the stars twinkle validation of my words. Many difficult decisions have been made and internal wars have unraveled in the peace and serenity of a star spangled sky.

For 18 years I have ventured out for solo camping in the mountains. People often asked questions such as, “Why?” or “Aren’t you scared?” Ralph Waldo Emerson best describes my sentiments of quiet wilderness time with, “In the woods, we return to reason and faith.” When you are left alone to decipher your thoughts, suddenly nobody else’s opinion bears weight on how you will determine your decisions. Being your only friend can be a powerful exercise. If you can’t count on you, why should anyone else? If you don’t enjoy your own company, who else would? But the most important lessons I return to civilization with are the ones I’ve learned in the dark of night listening to my own intimate nighttime confessions.

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