The Darkness


I open the car door, I get in, I start the engine. It is dark and damp. Am I going home from work? NO! I am going to work. Our clocks go back tonight. It makes a difference in how much light we have in the morning and at night. Every year there is an argument about this practice. Historically it has been done to aid farmers in the North of Scotland for milking the cows and a host of other things best done in daylight.

It means many that up and down the country people set off for work in the dark and they come home in the dark. As an office worker, I am okay with that, but what if you do a job where you do not see daylight?

My mother’s father Jim Wilson, was a coal miner. He got up in the morning while it was dark and knocked on the doors of other coal miners to make sure they were up and ready to be on their way to the mine. I think he was paid to do that.

In the mine, they had light from their lamps, and when the shift was over, they would emerge to darkness. They did not see natural light in the winter.

Coal mining has declined. I think that nowadays we would be concerned about coal miners health. Lack of light causes a lack of vitamin D and it must take its toll on mental health. Sailors in submarines must spend a lot of time without natural light.

I now find myself saying things like, “Autumn is here”, meaning the darkness comes earlier in the evening. It will be very noticeable tomorrow night. Darkness will be complete by 5pm.

It is noticeable that road accidents increase in the dark. We humans need the light. How much do we take it for granted?


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