Outside in the Dark
An elderly woman lived next door to me for many years. Sometimes, late at night, I would see her outside standing on her sidewalk. I could never figure out what she was doing outside in the dark, all by herself. I will admit I made up stories about why she did that.
Now, many years later I am doing much the same thing. I go out in the darkness, stand in my driveway and ask three questions. What do you need? What do you know? What do you want? I am not asking those questions of my mind or of the gods, I am asking my animal soul. I begin to walk. Walking up and down my driveway over and over again. (I tried taking a longer walk, but it wasn’t the same, for whatever the reason it has to be back and forth in my driveway.) I begin to talk to her, out loud. Out loud is important. If I talk to her in my head, well, it all just stays in my head. Out loud makes it a real conversation. And boy has she had stuff to say.
She is my connection to my body, to my instincts. She brings forth a deeper knowledge that has always been there, but I have left untapped. It’s something about the walking. Back and forth. Back and forth. It’s about the voice in the night. It’s about the listening for the answers. It’s about the quiet. It’s about the mist falling from the night sky. It’s about acknowledging she is real and present. It’s about wanting to know.
Sometimes it becomes simply the walking because what I need is the quiet movement under the night sky. The communing with the stars and the trees that surround me. Sometimes it becomes almost a ranting with words spilling forth until suddenly there is clarity of insight. Sometimes there are tears and sometimes there is laughter. But always there is a deepening connection.
I didn’t know it at the time, but my neighbor was definitely on to something. She may have been doing something totally different, but she showed me a possibility. Thank you Leila.
This post was written by Elizabeth Wilson