Nights. Have you ever spent time with nights?
For the longest time, my relationship had largely been two fold – one that indicates to my body, ‘hey its night, wrap up and go to sleep’. The other, on those emotionally unrestful days when I tossed around in bed, and wondered, ‘why am I not able to sleep?’. This also because I love my sleep.
And then when occasionally in the jungles, for a nature immersion, I have always been excited about night safaris, to explore the sounds and sights. When other living forms wake up to lead their life.
But here I am not talking about any of the above relationships, or occasional thrills. There is a new one I have started exploring. Which is about being awake to enjoy the nights, just like on somedays, or Sundays, we enjoy the days, through its sunrise and sunsets and all that is in-between.
And so I realised it is, with the nights. There is immense beauty to these hours. Just like the quality of each day is different, so is the quality of each night – in the way it looks, in the way it behaves, in the way it feels, in what you see and don’t see.
What stars do I see on some days, and don’t see on others due to heavy clouds? Where is the position of the planet Venus in relation to the rest of the stars? The changing position of all these beauties in this realm of the Universe as the night passes, is an interesting way to experience the rotation of the earth, my own movement through it, and the joy of being part of this magnanimous cosmos. Gives me goosebumps even as I type this.
And then if you live by the ocean, on nights where it is high tide for most part, the sound of the waves, can calm every nerve in the body. As the tide starts to pick up at a distance, it’s like these little waves are giggling like children who have been let loose after several hours. Then as time passes, they grow, in height and width, and their tiny voice cracks open to sound like one of a teenager, then it reaches the voice of an adult, and by the time it is full tide and they crash on the beach, there is the wisdom of an Elder pouring into that sound, deep and calm and grand, like from the soul of the ocean. To listen to how shape shapes the sound, is magnetic in the night. Then there are the low tide nights, that reveal another side of nature’s beauty. In those patches of water and sand, one can see the bottom of that expanse closer to the beach, where there is a play of shadow and city lights. Several hues of grey and black interspersed with the reflection of towering lights. Like a surreal painting.
There is such additional charm to the nights. Most times you cannot capture its beauty with any regular camera, like you can during the day. So, they become the hours of experience and feeling, rather than doing. What you saw, felt, experienced, feels customized, it’s yours. You needn’t share it with the rest of the world, if you don’t wish to.
That peace and tranquility, is hard to experience during the day in a city? But in the nights you begin to feel into the meaning of these words. After courting the night for a few hours, there comes a point in the night, when the depth of your soul becomes one with the whole energy field of the Universe. There are no thoughts. There is no interference or interruption from within or without. You are. The Universe is. And it is that ARE + IS, that the night can offer a sneak preview of, we then often long for, during the days.
So, here is an invitation, to ensure we just don’t brush away the nights, and live a life where the nights in our life just went by. This is certainly not an invitation to stay up late and work, or to make a habit/pattern of not sleeping during the nights. This circadian rhythm is essential for our well-being.
This is an invitation to create Date Nights every now and then. To occasionally break the rule, and court the night, in all its glory. Here are a few ways to do it:
- Date Nights: Here we really date the Night. Believe me, no day event can come close to the date we have with the Night. It is romantic, and seductive.
- Pay attention: Notice the subtle changes of the night. It is not just one big darkness out there, not at all. It has movement through the passing hours, and it brings out different life forms. It plays so much with shadow and light. It has its own color palette based on the hour, weather, season, wind, tide, all of it. There is moonrise and moonset. And this affects the tide patterns too.
- Listen: Listen to the sounds and the silence, as this richness, which we have lost a lot in our days, can still be felt in the nights.
- Family night out: Given how much kids love to stay up in the night, we can give into them every now and then. Take them for a night walk, and if we have access to a beach, then we can head to the beach, maybe on a full moon night. Let them discover what night is all about, and they might stop fearing it too, if they do. Trust me, even the elderly love it. So, kids/grandparents/both, let them experience the sound of waves, the patterns, the cool breeze. Pack a picnic basket and out we can all go.
In several villages and in the natural world, one can experience this quality of the night starting sunset. We see more, hear more, feel more, experience more. In the cities, we need to wait until midnight. But that doesn’t mean, cities are devoid of nights. Nights just start late in the cities. So where ever you are, whichever part of the world, if reading this sparked something in you, go date the night.
As for me, I confess, my Date Nights have been just incredible. It has opened up a whole new dimension in experiencing the beauty of this playful world. Off late, there has been thunder and lightning displays, and so there are performance nights too. That’s as much as I shall reveal, the rest of it is for you to explore.
If you have occasionally courted the night, please do share your observations. Together, we can expand our relationship with the other side of the day.
Thank you for reading, and look forward to your thoughts.