Entries in what was I scared of? (1)
At this time of year darkness creeps into both ends of the day.
The sun has finally given up its fight, it seems, and stays permanently low in the sky. We raise our voices to celebrate light coming into the world, but find ourselves more accustomed to its absence.
Away from city lights on nights when the stars are covered by a blanket of cloud, the woods are particularly dark. And with only the dog as my companion, I find myself alone with my thoughts and, more particularly, my fears.
I recall that Joseph Campbell described life as a journey; a journey in which our doubts and fears act as guardians, taunting and daring us to leave the country that we know and stride towards whatever lies in the darkness ahead.
Campbell’s view was that, in the end, fear was a positive thing inasmuch as ‘the very cave you are afraid to enter turns out to be the source of what you are looking for.’
Okay. But still I find the darkness weighs heavy around me.
It is just as Dr. Seuss described in his humerous tale, What Was I Scared Of?
Then I was deep within the woods
When suddenly I spied them
I saw a pair of pale green pants
With nobody inside them
I wasn’t scared but yet I stopped
What could those pants be there for?
What could a pair of pants at night
Be standing in the air for?
And then they moved! Those empty pants
They kind of started jumping
And then my heart, I must admit
It kind of started thumping.
Through this silliest of stories, Seuss conjures up for children and adults everywhere an impossible world in which a spooky pair of green pants waits, lurking in the shadows.
And now he’s got me thinking: what are my green pants? What’s out there, lurking in the woods, waiting for me to wander by?
Statistically, the answer is that there probably isn’t actually anything out there that is going to getting my heart thumping any time soon. And yet the anxiety remains.
In the morning light, I know this path will take on an altogether different complexion, but for now my mind is powerful enough to keep the light at bay.