Have you ever been somewhere where it is so dark, so devoid of light, that the only comfort of light your eyes can feast on are the those from billions of kilometres away? Being in a dark sky area gives a whole new meaning to the term, "as black as night."
You never appreciate the tricks that your mind can play on you, the submerged fears that come up to the surface, the scary scenes of every single horror movie that you have seen playing in your overactive mind, when you are enveloped in complete darkness. Living in cities and surrounded constantly by light and noise even during the deepest parts of night, I am not used to being in total darkness, where I can barely see 2 feet ahead or behind me, the bushes and trees in the forest mere outlines at the edge of my vision. We shone our iPhone flashlights with shaking hands and giggled with increasing nervousness.
And it was silent, except for the sound of thousands, maybe millions of crickets in the Lennox Addington Dark Sky Area near Napanee, Canada.
My older son, Baby I, hung on to me, his long legs wrapped around my waist in a death grip. He had never been so out of his element, so uncertain and afraid at the darkness around him. He could only feel me and hear my voice trying to reassure him- he couldn't see me really.
But all your fears melt away when you look up at the heavens, your eyes drinking in the light provided by the blanket of stars and planets. We had 78% visibility that August night and were able to see constellations including the well-known Big and Little Dipper, Mars showing off as a gold light, Polaris (more commonly known as North Star), Milky Way and so many more whose names we do not even know. There was not an empty space of black sky, as it was all covered by the celestial beings sparkling in its full splendor.
I then remarked to my family that now we need to drive up to a designated dark sky area to see the eternally-present stars and planets. But our ancestors could have just seen on any given night, since seeing the heavens was a part of their everyday, just like flicking on a light switch (or ordering Alexa to do so) is part of ours.