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Saved by the Dark

Illustration Credit: Night Owl by Diana Sudyka

My miracle cure was found in a moment of Grace more than 20 years ago. It involves no ingested substances or any special equipment, just a bit of time every evening.

When I was an elementary school teacher, a profession I loved, I found that toward the end of summer vacation, as I listened to the beautiful songs of the crickets and katydids, I would begin to feel sadness for the loss of the season. As the amount of sunlight gradually decreased, so did my good mood and energy—to the point where sometimes I would be crawling into bed by 7:30 p.m. I would feel an angry grief rising with the thought, Here we go again.

I am a committed walker, and one evening I was taking my half-hour stroll a little past dusk. As I began to fret about enduring the impending darkness and hibernation of the next four months, my moment of Grace was bestowed upon me. From without or within myself, I received the soft, yet directive words: Stop resisting…enter in…embrace the darkness. Those words, in a flash, transformed the scene, and brought me into a luminous new world. I stepped up my pace, gave thanks for the Grace and the stars and moon above, felt energy returning, and really got into my walk that night.

I was able to let go of my resistance, which made room for a sweet surrender to welcome the seasons that were to come: from then on, I took my regular walk in the dark every night until the days became longer. I found that the starlight and moonlight had a very calming, grounding, yet energizing effect on my nervous system. I could stay up as late as I wanted—no more hibernation! On a snowy winter’s night, I had the world to myself and was immersed in its beauty. The transformation has continued to this day: no more SAD! And I found there to be an abundance of light in the darkness—it really didn’t feel as dark as I once perceived; the stars and the moon were my natural lanterns.

People wonder if it’s safe to walk in the dark, and I tell them that simply going outside and sitting or walking in their yard for a half hour or so would give them that same connection with the cosmic energies. It is so wonderful to just look up at the heavenly display.

I am very grateful to have found such a simply profound cure for my seasonal depression. And I look forward to each autumn, knowing my energies will remain spirited throughout the short days—and beyond—as the darkness has brought so much light to my life.