One of the best things about aging is embracing the dark. I spent most of my life (maybe fifty years of it!) imbued with a deep-rooted fear of nighttime’s shrouded spaces. It was a constant undercurrent, mostly manageable, occasionally disabling. I never spent a night alone in my childhood home. I tried once as a teenager and fled to a friend’s house at 2:00 in the morning.
What changed? I hypothesize that menopause, somehow, erased my fears along with my fertility. Several allergies disappeared at the same time. Maybe I was allergic to the dark. Could it be that darkness and death are linked? Was it actually a cloaked fear of death and dying? Perhaps. I certainly don’t want to die yet, but death holds less terror for me than it once did.
Whatever it was, I am grateful. Now I relish the black velvety embrace of darkness, the anonymity, the heightened sensory receptors ignited in the absence of visible stimuli, the twinkling lights of the cosmos, the quiet whir of insects in a sleeping world. I missed so much. Have to make up for lost time.
My 60th year in 60,000 words
Day 350: 187 words, TOTAL = 57,568; 2,432 remaining
Robin Clifford Wood is a writer and writing teacher. She lives in central Maine with her husband and dogs, loves to be outdoors, and enjoys ever-expanding horizons through her grown children and their multi-species families.