The dark scares me.
Pine needles crackle under my bare feet as I swing the flashlight around. I still remember when my father shot at a mountain lion in these woods ten years ago. It had killed one of our goats, and he had posted up the following night to keep guard over the remaining doe. I remember his story of shooting at the gleaming eyes. Missing. The mountain lion was killed the following week by a local tracker, but that doesn’t ease my mind.
God programmed something into our genes. Gave us this fear of not having light. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
Something rustles to my left. Aiming my flashlight that direction reveals a pair of deer. They stare at me. Frozen. I clap my hands and they retreat into the dark.
I sit down with my back against a tall oak tree. Cross my legs. Close my eyes to meditate and pray.
In my mind I make a list of five things I am thankful for today. Thank you God for the light. Thank you for warmth. Thank you for shelter. Thank you for the love of those close to me. Thank you for this incredible life that allows me to have such deep experiences and moments.
This is SO much better than a night spent in front of the TV.