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  • Nathanael Littauer, CSCS

Darkness and Light: Appreciation Is Founded In Knowledge

I was on a 10 minute walk the other day in a local park before heading off to the gym. I live in the mountains, and this particular park sits in the valley between two mountain ranges and has a sight line that lasts for miles. It has a nice walking loop as well, so I frequent this park often.


But on this day, as I was about halfway walking through the loop I realized that the scenery had changed a bit. It was darker, more cloudy, and more ominous. It felt like a storm was coming, even though I knew the weather for the area was due to be sunny that day. So I looked to see the below scene:

To my left, were the mountains, covered in dark clouds and hiding everything in shade. On my right was the continuation of the valley with a smaller mountain range in the far distance, sunny as can be. And it got me thinking.

We cannot truly appreciate the light until we see and understand the darkness.

We cannot truly appreciate being able to move until we are bed ridden.

We cannot truly appreciate physical strength until we are weak.

We cannot truly appreciate the people in our lives until they are gone.


This isn't meant to be morbid, but to remind ourselves that there is a contrast and that there are many things we take for granted on a daily basis. We rarely stop to think about how fortunate we are to have the things we have on a daily basis, because we often rarely experience the other side of the spectrum. We don't truly embrace what we are afforded on a daily basis because it always has been a part of us.


This, then, is the challenge: to appreciate what is normal and a given, because we don't realize how fortunate we are to have it. We don't realize how easy it could be stripped of us, or how a single moment could change our lives entirely. The goal, is not to experience the darkness, but to appreciate the light with a knowledge that the darkness exists.

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