The dark can be a debilitating place.
Some people are frozen with fear to even think about stepping out in the dark. They want to make a change in their life - maybe even exercise a little in the wee hours of the morning before the day begins - and yet, they are so filled with fear that running in the early morning, or even walking, brings shivers up their spine and they quickly, quickly lock the door and dismiss the idea as ridiculous. After all, there are people out there who do terrible, terrible things.
For some people, the dark can be a comfortable place - a safe place. When it's controlled with a lock and key, the dark is a place of refuge. No one can find me here. And so, sitting at home, alone, in the dark becomes a favorite place - with the doors locked, of course.
Secrets are like this. Scary when the door is unlocked and a person opens the door and steps out. Or, a comfortable place where no one knows the life that's inside.
Secrets can only be kept for so long, and the dark can only be a place of comfort for so long. After awhile the temptation to peek out and step out becomes an ache, a longing. The sunshine of the early dawn begins to awaken even the sleepiest of sleepers. And movement out there - other lives - begin to make the bones ache and hurt to connect. To share. Perhaps to help. Or maybe to be heard.
Life. It breathes and moves and grows. When given an opportunity to be shared with others, life expands in depth.
Loneliness and secrets and the dark aren't meant for growth. In these winter months when the coldness finds its way inside the warmth of my house through the cracks and subtle openings of the windows, the shades are drawn to keep the cold out where it belongs. The darkness is good for warmth on the inside, until the sun shines on the outside and it's better to open the shades and let the light come in. Plants are happier because they have what they need to grow and not wither.
It's a risk to unlock the door. To take a step. To extend a hand. To say the words. It's a risk that is most always worth it in the end and a risk that breathes life.