This is the night when we notice that we have put back the clocks. The morning was
lighter (if you were up early enough to witness it) but now the night has come in
before 6 p.m. and now we are reminded that winter is at hand.
Being a morning person I am always quite pleased when the clocks go back.
Lately I have taken up the habit of going for a run first thing in the morning,
something I used to do but certainly haven’t since I had two children. I go off along
the back road for a mile or so, then turn and come back. When I began doing this in
August I would be running along in the 6.30 sunshine, watching the sun light
spreading from the west to the eastern side of the valley. Then, as the days grew
shorter, I was running in the sunrise, which was lovely. Then I was going out in the
pale pre-dawn light and watching the sun turn the clouds golden as I turned and ran
the homeward stretch. But lately I have been going out in the dark, and if I am lucky
getting a faint glimmer of light to show me the way home. Since I have poor eyesight
and very poor night sight, this running in the dark is a bit of an adventure for me, and
I for one am looking forward to tomorrow morning when things shouldn’t be quite so
black - for the next week of two at least.
But most of us hate the dark nights, and many people feel depressed at the
thought of the winter coming on. It seems a natural human instinct to prefer light to
darkness. The day is the time when things are open and plain, straightforward and
able to be coped with. The night is when things become shadowy and strange, when
the fears we have pushed aside during the busy hours of light come back to haunt us.
It is not surprising that our far-off ancestors peopled the world with nightmare
creatures of the dark - bogey men and gaisties and goolies and lang-legged beasties
and things that go bump in the night.
“Good Lord,” they prayed, “Deliver us.”
Moses went where the people were afraid to go