The light shined from above, and I turned behind me and faced my eyes upward to confirm that there really wasn’t a security light blazing above, lighting our way through the darkness, but the moon. It was not a full moon, but the clear sky lit by the partially revealed glowing sphere, gave the perception of artificial light.
I had not planned to head to the woods at 10:30 p.m. on this Saturday night. But as I sat on the couch, curled into a sleepy warm spot, I saw my son, Alex’s, disappointment, and found I could not stay here.
My son has a dog in training, and part of that training requires her learning that the night woods is okay. Alex had asked a friend to go, and the friend had actually said he would, but then had not shown, nor called. The disappointment my son was feeling was too much for me to bear, and although I knew I was no competition for male companionship, I offered my company as an honorable mention position in the contest. Alex hesitated, then took me up on my offer.
Rose was pleased to be out of her kennel, and we, at first, coaxed her along into the woods, but it wasn’t long before she was off and running. The LED lit collar gave a blue glow to her movement. Her nimble feet carried it swiftly and eerily up hills and down valleys. We walked and talked as we climbed hills, and Alex pulled me up the steep banks, always conscious of whether I could see or if I was in need of assistance. And as I had discovered in the past, something that I had previously had no desire to experience revealed an unknown that was much more than I could have imagined it to be.
The unknown is hard to desire. There is no familiar or pleasant emotion to attach to it. It could be compared to craving a dish that one has never tasted. And yet, I now realize that in life, one must step into the darkness of the unknown to realize that light shining from above in a most unexpected way. And although I had seen the moon shining so brightly in the night sky, on many occasions, as I looked out the window from the safety of my home or the shelter of my car, or even as I sat on my patio late at night, I had not fully given myself over to trust it to give me the light I needed to find my way. No, in order to really discover that trust, I had to travel out into the woods, away from my familiar activities and safe ground.
Opportunities seem to present themselves, and too many times, we choose the easy, safe and familiar route. Stepping into the darkness showed me that the light is there, I just have to trust that it will be there.
My youngest son has been a force to pull me out into the woods, a place of love and support for me, for years. But now he has also been the tool to show me that in the darkness, there will be light and support. You only must trust.