Last night I went to bed very late. Everyone else had long since gone to sleep. All the lights were out and I didn't want to wake anyone up so I set off across my apartment in the dark.
Usually, there is ambient light in the apartment, even if all the lights are out. Certainly, there's enough to walk around safely, but last night because my eyes hadn't had time to adjust to the darkness, it was like walking into a black velvet sack.
I made it all the way to the bathroom where I made a pit stop. Now the light in my bathroom is wired to a very noisy exhaust fan. Very loud noisy exhaust fan. And really, why would I need light to use the bathroom? After fifty plus years, I pretty well have the mechanics down, you know? So, sitting in the dark in there was... really, really dark.
There is no window in the bathroom so no ambient light at all. I contemplated the difference between the darkness in the living room and the bathroom and realized that the lack of light in the bathroom was so total that it was nearly suffocating. Even though I had a clear idea of my place in that space, I still found it almost claustrophobic. Odd.
After completing my business in the bathroom, I opened the door to a different world. The living room that had seemed so impenetrable just moments before now seemed brightly lit, though nothing had really changed--except now my eyes had adjusted to the darkness. Now all those small points of light that normally light our nights, the tiny lights given off by electronics (microwave clocks, stove clocks, cell phone chargers, etc.) were more than enough to light my way to the bedroom.
The amount of light we need to navigate our way in life depends on our starting point. If we set off into the sudden darkness from a place of bright light where all is going well, then the darkness is disorienting and suffocating and scary. But if our life is already in a dark period, a time of despair, then even the small pinpoints of light from minor triumphs are enough to lead us to safety. We might have to be more cautious, but we're more appreciative of our limited resources.
It's all a matter of perspective.
On another note... Yesterday I received my cover for Prisoner of the Heart. This is my contribution to an anthology from Resplendence Publishing titled Carnal Reunions. The anthology is a collection of stories about young women who went to college together and are now returning for their tenth anniversary. The reunion is more than one of friendship. Each young woman finds the opportunity to reunite with that special man who "got away" the first time around.
In Prisoner of the Heart, Becky, a divorced mom, returns to the college town in search of a new life and job for herself and her children. There she meets Joe, a younger man who had a crush on her, but wasn't old enough to do anything about it. Now Joe is all grown up and determined to have a place in Becky's life. The stories will all be released November 10.