We begin our journey in the darkness. I am feeling… apprehensive.
There is so much out there that I don’t know. Standing here with one foot on the threshold, about to step out into the unknown, I can’t even begin to imagine what’s coming. The person who will experience the adventures of a month, a year, a decade hence, knows more than I do, has dimensions of wisdom that are far beyond me.
It’s a luminous, velvety, exciting darkness, full of unknown unknowns, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it coming, so you might as well meet it with curiosity and the intention to enjoy it.
I only realised the other day that I have been stopping myself wanting things for most of my life, declining to express preferences out of politeness or fear or goodness knows what. Setting out on my fourth decade with permission to make choices based on what I actually want… now there’s an adventure. I’m still in the dark as to what I want.
And then there’s the actual, literal, darkness. It’s out there already. I had to turn my bike lights on this morning. It’s been a wet, grey, day, and it’s a dark, dank evening. No moon, and no chance of seeing it even if there were one. Autumn is here already, I think.
I am one of those apparently rare people who prefers Greenwich Mean Time to British Summer Time. My mood is so tied to the sunlight that when the mornings become dark I find the arguments for getting out of bed less and less convincing. As the nights lengthen I look forward to that magical Sunday when the clocks go back and the morning is suddenly light again. It doesn’t last long – a fortnight, perhaps, before the darkness crawls back in – but it’s enough; it keeps me hanging on until the solstice, when I can tell myself that things are going to get better.
There’s a petition going around Facebook at the moment asking for permanent British Summer Time. It’s a genuinely terrifying prospect. I would lose the whole winter.
I am scared of the dark. I am scared of the dark that’s coming. The dark that’s already here is less intimidating, but more awesome.