I have discovered I am afraid of the dark. I mean reee-lly afraid of the dark.

When I moved to my country retreat; far away from my former well lit suburban community, I was still on good ‘ol Eastern Standard Time or what I commonly refer to as “the time of year when it still stays light outside until 9:00 p.m.”

At my new homestead, in the evenings, as I walked my dog, it was light enough out that I could walk wherever the dog led. But, once the time changed (groan) it was a very different story. As it got dark earlier and, me being out in the middle of no-where, no city lights to light up the sky, it was pitch-black outside. (If you don't know what pitch black is, go stand in your closet, shut the door and put something across the bottom of the door so the light doesn’t shine in. - That's pitch-black)

Where I live, it is so dark outside that you can't see your hand in front of your face dark.
What I've learned, when it’s that dark outside, your sense of security seems to vanish.  It’s not that I was afraid of anything in particular.  It was just the fact that I couldn't see a thing in front, back or either side of me. Nothing.  And, as we all know, in a survival situation this is NOT be a good thing.

This got me to thinking (scary).  Maybe I should start incorporating some sort of exercise in my survival preparation to accustom myself more to the dark.

I mean, after all, should there be a grid-down situation; most assuredly, we are all going to be in the dark (some of us more than others!). So, as another step to preparing, I began training myself to do more things in the dark.  First, by walking the dog without a flashlight learning to listen (see with my ears) to what was going on around me. And then, walking around the rooms in my house, without the lights on.

This may sound fairly easy at first thought.  But think about it.  How many times have we hit a piece of furniture trying to get out of bed to go to the bathroom without turning on the light first?  And we KNOW where the furniture is!!  Get my point?

When the lights go out, how many times have we found ourselves scrambling for a candle or flashlight?  Why? Because its dark out and we can’t see. 

We need to learn to see in the dark.  Train our eyes and ears for darkness.

I would suggest a good start would be to have a 'lights out weekend' where you use no lights for the whole weekend.  Grant it, it won't be that difficult at first as you move around during the day. But, come evening and darkness creeps in this will change rather quickly.

So many issues we read about but do not have experience with due to our individual circumstances.  This is a skill no matter what the disaster you will need. Practice.

- Survivor Jane





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