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Who Turned Out the Light?

April 11, 2019

Experiencing a bit of wanderlust this morning, I allowed my thoughts to drift back over some of the adventures we've experienced over the last years. It's a dark, dreary day here in central Pennsylvania, and my recollections seemed to focus on many of the dark places I've toured.


 Fourteen years ago, the hubby and I boated through a deep, dark cave in northern New Zealand. When the guide turned off his spotlight, we seemed to be pitched into complete, heavy blackness. He directed us to look upward then, where we saw tiny bits of "light." The Waitomo Glowworm Cave is known for its population of Arachnocampa luminosa, a glowworm species found exclusively in New Zealand. I still remember the darkness and those little glowing worms.


 About five years ago, my then seven-year-old granddaughters (twins) and I visited a local cave in our area - Woodward Cave. Deep into the cave walk, our guide did what cave guides often do: he turned off his flashlight to show us the utter darkness down in there. I noticed the two girls leaning in and holding my hands just a little bit tighter.


Last year, the hubby and I returned to Mammoth Cave National Park and toured one of the cave complexes there. Same thing. In order to appreciate the complete lack of light, for a moment our guide extinguished his light. Just as my granddaughters did, I found myself leaning in towards my husband a bit more. I guess nobody wants to stand alone in the dark.


 Just a few weeks ago, while adventuring in Costa Rica, we stayed in one accommodation situated deep within the jungle. At nighttime any light from the moon was fully blocked by the rainforest, and no light from any other source entered our room during the nighttime. I knew there were alligators just steps outside our room (there were signs warning us!) and who knows what all other forms of slithery or poisonous wildlife too. When I wakened during the night, I had an odd sense of unease and blackness, not knowing for a few seconds where I was.


It's lonely, unnerving, and eerie bein