As a child, I recall having a bit of a fear of the dark. I cannot at all recall as to why this was so. What was in that vast space where there was no light? Were there beasts that would take me away? What were the noises that would make me pause and hold my breath in hopes that whatever made them would not see me? Why was this happening in my room late at night? Of course, growing older, one starts to notice the shapes and sounds as familiar things that were strategically placed around the room as to not trip over them. Things that were once dark creatures as big as a door became hooded sweatshirts hanging from the top of the door. That random gurgling and winding sound in the pitch black room became an awfully cheap plugin windup alarm clock (does that even makes sense?).
As an adult, I enjoy taking walks at night. Especially in the summer, when the temperature in Texas goes below “inferno” into “pleasantly scalding”. I live in a fairly populated area, so I don’t catch too many “beasts” these days. Only other solitary people that seem to enjoy walks in the dark. Random noises only give me pause if I have never heard it before. But, instead of trying to get away, I tend to inspect. The other morning, I was walking before sunrise when I saw a bunch of shadowy blobs bouncing all over the place in a small field. As I got closer, I assumed they were a small litter of kittens playing and rolling around. That is, until two or three of them stood up and seemed to be watching me. As I came upon them, I saw a small litter of raccoon kits. Some were still playing while others seemed to take an interest in this tall thing moving slightly in their direction. They stood on their hind legs and held their fore-paws close to their chests and swiveled their heads as I walked by. The shapeless mass in the distance became a gigantic mass of adorable. The “beast” was something to say “awww” to. Darkness isn’t all bad after all, eh?