I come from a prosperous family. This allows me to travel a lot. I’ve traveled along the great rivers and seen vastly different cultures with strange customs. But one thing they have in common, (as with my own) is they all worship the sun. Indeed, there’s never a time when the sun does not shine. It gives life and I could never imagine a land where it did not exist, unless it was dead and void. When I was around 30, I learned of a place such as this, only, it was not dead… In the farthest reaches of the north, there’s a land where people live and thrive, without the blessings of the sun… At this point in time, I had seen much of the world and I was ready to explore something truly alien.
I made my preparations and headed north. Settlements became fewer the further from home I went. Daylight became dimmer and days became colder. It was uncomfortable, but I was determined to see this strange land and headed on. Light became a slither on the horizon and soon there was only darkness. My eyes could no longer see the people but I sometimes heard them in their low voices. These people don’t like to be seen and is hard to approach. They are weary of strangers and they are oh so few.
Contrary to popular belief, they are indeed humans, not nightly creatures of the unknown for they still worship the light. What drove them here to begin with? I cannot say, for they won’t tell me, or perhaps they simply don’t understand me? In either case, there isn’t all complete darkness as there are many singular lights in the sky. When I first saw the night, I was amazed! I could see now what drew them here, somewhat. Was it worth abandoning the sun for the majesty of the night sky?
I stayed with them for many weeks, and already, I began to feel sluggish. I became melancholic and moved slowly and spoke lowly, as the locals. I wondered if this was how I was gonna die because though I longed for home, I dreaded the long journey back. Then, one night, the people urged me through the dark, with a solitary light in their hands they lead me to a large group of people. I was amazed as I didn’t realise they were so many. Despite their numbers, it was all quiet and soon it was entirely dark as they put out their precious light. I felt my mind was going insane in just those few moments when I saw and heard nothing. Thankfully, I felt their breaths and their shoulders rubbing against mine. After sometime, I was begging for light, when, one peculiar star seemed to grow on the nightly canvas. It grew to engulf my entire vision and was indeed as large and bright as the sun itself, if not more so. I closed my eyes and felt it’s warmth and rejuvenating rays on my body. It only lasted for a couple of moments before the sky was mostly black again, but instead of solemn silence, as I was used to, people talked and cheered. They moved energetically to wherever they belonged. I felt a rush too, from complete exhaustion to reinvigoration, I had never felt happier as I was then.
I understood then that this was a way of living. They endured the suffering to be blessed with the gift of light. I never found out how often this occurred, for though I stayed for many months, I never got to know any of them. They accepted my presence, but that was all. It’s the allure of their kind, the mysteriousness, their reclusive happiness that only they could understand.
With my strength regained, I took the opportunity to head home and I don’t think anyone ever believed what I told. Regardless, I saw what I saw and felt what I felt. It is up to others to experience the same thing I did, to visit the north and experience what true happiness surely is like.
© Christopher Stamfors