A metaphorical story:
I was a bona fide Girl Scout for 10 years. I spent every summer from age nine until I was seventeen, at Girl Scout camp. Camp Blue Bay was located on a beautiful stretch of land at the end of Long Island, near East Hampton (now home to the rich and famous). Back in the late sixties, East Hampton was a sleepy little fishing village with a penny candy store, a movie theater, grocery, a few bars and many bait & tackle shops. Blue Bay was situated directly on the beach bordering Gardiner’s Bay. The camp existed until about four years ago, when it was sold (probably to land developers–Boo Hoo).
Once you walked inland off the beach, camp was heavily wooded. All the paths through the woods from one unit (Tajars, Romany, Innisfree, and others) to the next and back to the dining hall, were light colored sand. Obviously as a youngster, flashlights were necessary. But at the years passed, the cool kids were the ones who didn’t need them.
If you walk through the woods at night with no light source, your eyes will become very accustomed to the dark. Even when there is no moon there is ambient light coming from the stars. In fact, even on the darkest of nights it is possible to walk swiftly and securely on paths through the woods without using a flashlight. Seeing the path is mixture of your eyes and your intuition and looking in the direction you are heading — never looking down — always trusting your feet.
What’s funny is that you can actually “see” and sense so much more this way, than you can if you use a light. In fact, if you turn on a flashlight you clearly illuminate a small round area — but the bigger picture goes completely dark and ceases to exist. You can no longer sense or see trees, the sky or people coming towards you until they step into your beam. Another cool fact — you don’t even hear as well, with the flashlight turned on.
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