I have always had a issue with being in the dark. It was never the darkness that scared me, but the not seeing that goes along with it.
I am a believer in ghosts/spirits lurking among us.
That is as far as I've developed the theory. I don't know who or what or why or how but I believe they're there. Except when I'm sleeping or having sex because - uh - ew!
When we were kids, my brother and I would "camp" in our family room. Meaning we'd pull out our sleeping bags, raid the couch for cushions, and end up fighting after bedtime. The tv in said family room had a blue speck in the middle that never quite turned off. It used to freak me the hell out.
Now, I live out in the woods in darkness. No light from any neighbor can be seen from our house - even on the darkest of nights.
I am surprisingly comfortable with the dark here.
Every sound has a name: cricket, frog, opossum, raccoon, coyote, deer, squirrel, bird, wind, trees, leaves, katydid, truck on the highway.
A bump in the night (even if I'm not sure) is often attributed to a nocturnal creature foraging for food.
When the winter darkness blankets my morning drive, things get a little funny around here.
We have a resident owl that claims our home inside its territory. It's a barred owl. He or she (I'm not sure who the prankster is) will sit in the large maple that leans over our driveway. It is likely using the light gravel of our driveway as a contrast for the voles, moles, and mice that might dare to scamper across.
It never fails.
I'll be clambering for my keys - in darkness as we have no light that shines on our driveway and cars. The light driveway is enough for my eyes to adjust and keep me from crashing into my car as I approach.
Just about the time I'm nearing arms' distance from my car...
The barred owl will call. I will either (a) nearly shit myself, (b) drop or nearly drop my keys/purse/child, (c) shreik, (d) jump and nearly fall if snow/ice is present.
I swear you can hear it snickering in delight. Owl 213, Cort 0.
There are mornings that I have it together enough to remember that prankster, and those mornings he will either not do it or will wait until I think I'm in the clear - release my breath...and then he does it!
It's a funny quirk of living in the woods. Even with the twitchy fear of the dark, I can find humor in a bird getting his jollies from scarying a jumpy woman in the morning.
In the next week or so, I have a feeling my winter friend will start keeping score again.