Walking down the road I can feel the wind on my face before twirling with strands of my hair, sending them dancing. The sharp coolness of the air that swoops in once the sun goes down is already here, leaving my face achey and cold. I wrap my arms around me to keep warm but it’s not long before the cold air finds my fingers; a sharp reminder that winter is nearly here.
As I pass rows upon rows of houses I pay special attention to the ones which already have the curtains drawn and the front door closed. I can’t help but wonder what they are hiding? What secrets do they have? Who are they trying to keep out? What are they afraid of? I have my own secrets and fears, of course, but I always wonder how they compare to those of other people. Is there anything these strangers and I have in common, without even knowing it?
This alone makes me wonder who lives inside and what their life is like…how is it different to my own? Do you ever have that thought when you see people walking down the street, or at the shopping mall? I do. I don’t know them, but it doesn’t stop me from being curious about their life, their identity and what they’ve gone through to be the person they are today. Walking down the street close to sunset I had the same thought as I looked at these houses, even though I didn’t see anyone who might live inside of each one. I wondered if there was anyone inside at that very moment, looking back at me from the other side of the glass and sheer curtain. Would they wonder the same thing about me? Would they wonder what my story is and what brought me there?
Half the houses are hidden in the shadowy evening while the other half are bathed in the last rays of golden sunlight, before the sun disappears for good. Soon it will be dark and everyone will be shut inside their houses, where it’s warm and safe. They’ll be asleep a few hours after that. This would be confirmed if you walked down the same street a few hours later, I’m sure. But why is it that everything we see in broad daylight seems so much scarier, dangerous and threatening at night time? Why does the dark send us indoors, pulling the curtains closed to keep out whatever might be lurking outside the front door? Why do we hide away from the dark and come out again when it’s light? You have to wonder how this started in the first place, and why the dark is perceived as so much more ominous than daylight.
We are (and may always be) ultimately strangers to one another, but I think we share common fears. I think, deep down, we are mostly all afraid of the same kind of things…it’s just another thing that isn’t spoken about. But if we did, maybe we would all feel less alone.
Lucy Rebecca x