Accustomed to the Dark…


In the deep, dismal depths of the Scottish Highland winter, Algy perched in a wee bush which still held a few decorative leaves and looked out into the darkness. Daylight was severely rationed now: the nights lasted well into the mornings, and started again in the mid-afternoons. But Algy knew that the year would soon be turning, and in the meantime he was growing accustomed to the darkness. He was reminded of a poem by Emily Dickinson, which he shares – with lots of fluffy hugs – with all his friends in the northerly latitudes of the world:

We grow accustomed to the Dark –
When Light is put away –
As when the Neighbor holds the Lamp
To witness her Good bye –

A Moment – We Uncertain step
For newness of the night –
Then – fit our Vision to the Dark –
And meet the Road – erect –

And so of larger – Darknesses –
Those Evenings of the Brain –
When not a Moon disclose a sign –
Or Star – come out – within –

The Bravest – grope a little –
And sometimes hit a Tree
Directly in the Forehead –
But as they learn to see –

Either the Darkness alters –
Or something in the sight
Adjusts itself to Midnight –
And Life steps almost straight.

[Algy is quoting the poem We grow accustomed to the Dark by the 19th century American poet Emily Dickinson.]

At long last, there was a full day of sunshine – as full, that is, as was possible at this time of year, when the sun sank down behind the ridge at 3 o’clock. That was a noticeable advance on a few weeks ago, however, and Algy knew that every day now would be longer than the last… even when the sun didn’t shine! He found himself a perch in a young pine tree, and although the wind was bitterly cold, he sang a sunny song, as the other birds were doing, before the sun vanished behind the hill once again. Algy was fascinated to see that the notes of his song were coloured bright green and purple as they drifted away on the wind…

Algy wishes you all a happy weekend, and hopes that you will find a moment or two to sing a sunny song, even if the wind feels bitterly cold 🙂