As children, we’ve all spent nights when we wanted to sleep with the lights turned on. We feel safer this way. As if the monsters hiding in the closet or under the bed or wherever else they may be won’t be able to reach us. As if the nightmares won’t come if the lights are on.
Growing up, we still try to illuminate our lives in whatever way possible. We open the windows each day, hoping the sunlight will come bursting into every corner of our house. We go to work, preferably in a brightly-lit environment, knowing that when located in such a one, we are more productive and efficient. We fill ourselves with knowledge reading about everything and everyone online. We thrive in our certainty that the more we know, the safer we feel.
And we get depressed when autumn arrives, with the falling leaves, the cloudy skies and the rain. The ballads and mood-killer songs overwhelm our heads, our rhythm slows down, and we find ourselves seeking more daylight. Since the early afternoon when the sunset is followed by the imminent darkening horizon, we are urged to get up and turn on the lights.
Because in the end, that is exactly what we need: some light to drive out the darkness. That is why we light candles whenever and wherever possible. Or why, come Christmas and New Year’s we immerse ourselves in coloured lights and sparkles. Because we want to feel safe and certain that the future that lies ahead has in store for us nothing but hope, optimism and the positivity that is so lacking in our times.