An Opportunity As the Darkness Comes

Tarantula Nebula

I have always loved traveling at night. I feel enveloped by the warmth of the darkness. I’m invisible and can be alone with my thoughts at such times. I have gotten answers to questions when I’m driving in the dark. For example, what to name by first novel. I had just turned onto King’s Ranch Road, the last stretch to home one night coming home from teaching a class at the college. It was a beautiful clear night and the stars were so prominent because there was no moon. As I looked up in wonder at the stars, a Beatles song came on my iPod and it had a phrase about space and time in it. That’s when the title, The Space Between Time came to me as the perfect title for my book.

Another time as I was driving home, the stars reminded me of an incident when I was twelve years old. Our family had been attending a church conference and we were driving home late at night. We lived in a small town with lots of open country surrounding it. With no light pollution, the sky was bright with stars. My dad and I were the only ones awake in the car. That memory was so vivid I wrote it out as a scene for possible use in a book one day. I’ll include it at the end of this post.

My point is that I’m rarely afraid of the dark except perhaps the darkness inside myself. But I’ve even learned to embrace the parts of me that are not loving, kind, and compassionate. It’s taken lots of years to accept and love myself but the work has been worth it.

For the past few months, since we’ve been coping with the Covid crisis, at first I reveled in being ordered to stay home. I had plenty of time to meditate, create, and dream of the future. But as time has drug on, I’ve become restive as if some message was trying to get through to me. 

Finally, it came while writing in my journal. Parts of my past still needed healing. I’ve lived long enough to know that healing is never over and done with in one sweeping passthrough. Healing, like grief, is a process. It takes diligence and willingness to go back and let go of resentment, to forgive what happened, and to accept oneself. 

So, I plan to take this opportunity to do another round of healing while sinking into the darkest part of the year. I hope you can find comfort in the coming darkness as well because the light always follows very soon after.

Here is the scene I wrote. I hope you enjoy it.

Night Visions

By Lucinda Sage-Midgorden

Nighttime was her favorite time. She especially loved riding in the car at night where her mind could wander as the stars enveloped her in their bright embrace. Tonight as her father drove the family home from the long day at church meetings, the sky was particularly beautiful, with wisps of clouds softening the starlight and the moon transforming the landscape into silver edged alien shapes; the hills, rocks and trees glowing as if from within.

The other passengers of the car were asleep. Her brother sat opposite her with their two year old sister in between, her head on the girl’s lap. Occasionally, as she stroked her sister’s hair, she would rouse from her night dreams and look over the front seat to see if her father was nodding. His face was lit with the glow from the dashboard instruments. To her, his face looked angelic. He seemed content with the events of the day and happy to have her mother’s head resting on his shoulder. 

The girl laughed inwardly and hugged herself. It was always the same. Her mother would vow to remain awake with her father, but invariably the night would seduce her to sleep. There was something so comforting about the scene. From time to time her mother would awaken to yawn and say, “I don’t know why I’m so sleepy. How are you feeling?” To which her father would give the same answer, “I’m fine honey. You know I love driving at night. Go back to sleep.” But her mother would try valiantly to remain awake to insure that no accident occurred. The inevitable night seduction would overcome her, however, and she would soon sleep again with her head on her husband’s shoulder. 

The car, following the curve in the road, made the moon shine in on the girl from the side window. It’s silver light permeating her being.  She felt someone looking at her and moved her attention to look in her father’s direction. He had taken his attention off the road briefly to lock eyes with her through the rear view mirror. The familiar feeling of unspoken agreement enveloped her. They were alike in many ways. Though they had never spoken of their mutual love of the night, each knew they shared it. To them the night was like a warm comforter on a cold night making the bed warm and welcoming. On such nights dreams could dance vividly through their imaginations. As they looked at each other, this night seemed especially magical and full of enchantment.

Her father winked at her and smiled. The girl, stroking her sister’s hair, smiled back. He returned his attention to the long stretch of empty silver ribbon road. There were not many other travelers tonight. They each, father and daughter, returned to their reveries. 

The girl leaned her head on the car door, not to sleep, but to get a better view of the night sky. The events of the day flitted through her mind, conversations with friends , the church meetings and the food. None of them stuck. As each thought came in photograph images, they would fade again making room for the next and the next. 

Eventually other thoughts came, or not thoughts exactly. They were thought/feelings. What’s out there? She wondered as she looked at the sky sending a part of her soul out for the answer. Everything, came the reply. Everything. Yes, I see that! Possibility too. The steady beat of her heart told her she had been given a great secret. Everything that ever was and ever will be is out there isn’t it? She held her breath for the answer. Yes, the voice in her heart breathed. She smiled inwardly. I’m part of all that was and all that will ever be and its part of me. This was a certainty and she felt a shift in her inner being. Her body seemed to expand. Her skin was no longer holding in her essence. She was becoming one with the night, stars, moon, passing country side, all of creation. Her family through the generations were a part of her too. For a brief moment she was in ecstasy. Her vision was both inward and outward and it was all one.

“I don’t know why I’m so sleepy.” Her mother said with a start and broke the spell. Yet, it could never be broken. “How are you feeling?” “I’m fine Honey. Go back to sleep, “ her father said with his customary calm. “Okay, we’re almost home,” her mother said settling her head again on her husband’s shoulder with the surety that they would be safe now. She was soon snoring softly.

For the second time during that ride, the girl’s father locked eyes with her through the rear view mirror. They smiled at each other. The oneness she had just felt, enveloped her again. It emanated from her father’s soft gaze into her eyes. You felt it too! She thought to her father. His eyes sparkled with a deep fire as if to say, yes. The girl felt the bonds grow even tighter and deeper between them. This was their secret and would link them forever. 

He turned his attention back to his task and she to her reverie out the window with an altered awareness as the night road stretched in front of them like an empty silver ribbon. 

Thank you to my new followers and for reading. I hope you are safe and well. Feel free to leave a comment, share with a friend, or just like.

My next Story~Power Podcast will air October 28. It’s titled “Storytelling Magic.” I’ve had some amazing conversations so far and am looking forward to chatting with the guests I’m lining up for the new year. You can find the episodes on Apple, Google, or Spotify. Look for Story-Power. The show notes and audio are here on my website as well.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2020

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.

Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.

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Published by lucindasagemidgorden

I grew up in the West, the descendant of people traveling by wagon train to a new life. Some of their determination and wanderlust became a part of me. I imagine them sitting around the campfire telling stories, which is why I became first a theatre artist, then a teacher and now a writer. They are all ways of telling stories.

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