It gets very dark at night in Hawaii. Except for a tiny flashing light on a bouy offshore, and the glow from the windows of the homes and condos along the beach, it is pitch black.
Just me - alone on the beach - in the dark.
I wouldn't say I am scared of the dark, but I have always been uncomfortable in it. It steals my vision and removes all possibility of self defense (against wild animal attacks, spiders and coffee table bruises?). It steals my ability to control my surroundings.
Yet - maybe for the first time in my life - I am not uncomfortable. This darkness is different. I feel no threat. The sounds of the sea and the nocturnal creatures scratching and chirping are comforting.
I can be an intolerable control freak - if not with others, definitely with myself. I don't like it when outcomes are uncertain. I don't enjoy the unknown. And while I know without a doubt that it is fruitless, my mind sometimes persists in its effort to feel safe and secure in the "known."
I've been working on that for quite some time.
But THIS? I haven't experienced THIS degree of comfort in the unknown before. It is nice. Oh... I'm not saying that my brain is fixed. I will surely freak out about something... someday down the road (or, tomorrow). But this moment allows me to have something I lose from time to time; perspective.
I think my need to control my surroundings is less about what I fear could happen, and more about what I fear I will feel. If I find peace and stop worrying and working so incredibly hard to be perfect, I might find that true grace and humanity comes from not being perfect at all. If so... what have I been doing for 40 years?
I think... what I've been doing is called "practice." When you are 18, you don't always see what is possible. But... all the lights are green, so it is easier to have faith in what might be. When you are 40, you know what was possible... but people make you believe the light is yellow, so it's harder to have faith that you can still make things happen.
I can't help but believe that if I have discovered a peace in pure darkness... that I couldn't also find peace in the light - regardless of the hue, the intensity, or the shadow it casts.
Peace - in light or darkness - comes with an understanding that I can never control my surroundings. I can only use my senses, my intuition and intelligence to navigate. Whether I am bathed in light, or shrouded in darkness, I am no more or less able to find peace. Because... peace has its own light.