What “Fall Back” is Teaching Me about the Dark (Five Minute Friday: Turn)


November 6, 2014 by Beth Hess

stock-footage-full-moon-emerges-from-spooky-cloudy-night-sky-pEven the full moon hides its face in the clouds. It’s darker than it could be.

The clocks turned back only an hour.

It feels like a complete reversal of day and night. There is so much more dark in my day.

I ache for a summer evening. The kind where the light lingers well past dinner and into the late innings of a baseball game. Where you can pack it in at the first sign of dusk. Plenty of time for life before the dark catches up to you.

And even then, the fireflies dance — forcing the blackness to back off and serve only as a backdrop to their joyful display.

But now that the days have been surrendered to the shadows and the haunted hallows lurk beneath the barren trees, I cannot escape the absence of light. It comes before the worker’s whistle blows.

I cannot outrun it. I can only get home by going through it.

And it weighs heavy on my soul. This darkness. This valley.

This place of limited vision in which I must shorten my stride to avoid a hidden hazard. In the void of light, I trip even on the path so easily blazed what feels like moments ago. Before the change.

I am left with the knowing that the darkest days are still ahead. Steadily the blackness will invade the light until the shortest day of all. Until the dawning of the morn where there is more day than night. Dark and light. Day and night. They weave together and dance their steps again and again.

And I let myself be led by them.

What if, rather than succumbing to the season, I seek traces of light. Adjusting my eyes to allow in the flickers that get missed during the bright days?

What if the darkness is here to lead me to the light?

Updated: Or maybe the work of the dark is meant to be surrendered to. On the same day I publish this, my dear friend Amber graces us with these words on her own darkness (READ HERE. I’ll wait.) And how not to be afraid of it. And I find myself wanting to make sure the darkness does its full work more than I want to have the light come back. Because the dark is stealing my ability to see, but not to hear or taste or smell or touch. And there is much to be learned when I let go of the seeing.


Sharing today at Five Minute Friday.

9 thoughts on “What “Fall Back” is Teaching Me about the Dark (Five Minute Friday: Turn)

  1. […] Because the world, so often, is dark and cold. I have heard its stories on the news. I have listened to its echoes in the aching words of those I hold dear. I have read its reports across the blogosphere. I have harbored its weariness in my own soul. […]


  2. I’m finding the darkness both a comfort and a weight. Physically, this time changes gets harder for me every year. Emotionally I feel like the darkness still has a lot to teach me. We just put in a wood stove and I’m looking forward to becoming more acquainted with firelight as opposed to incandescent bulbs. Beautiful post, Beth.


  3. ambercadenas says:

    How incredible, the darkness is on both our hearts. Your perspective is different from mine and the same in places, where they mingle, which is really rather lovely, isn’t it? We need each other. I love how you say the only way is through it. And learning to rely on other senses than sight…this is so good. I’m grateful to have each other along on this journey. xoxo


  4. David Ozab says:

    I hate changing clocks, but I love your post. Beautiful imagery—thank you for sharing.


  5. Sarah says:

    Beautiful, poetic, and so familiar! Thank you for sharing.


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