Why is man afraid of the dark?

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“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”  -John Muir

October Sunrise over Piute Lake, CA

For thousands of years man lived with the night! Braving whatever terrors may reside in the darkness. Children were told tales of boogie men and goblins to keep them away from real dangers like lions, tigers and bears.  What makes men fear the dark ocean waters or the deep dark wilderness? Is it the fact that many meat eating predators hunt at night? Is it the fact that you can’t see very well or that your eyes deceive you? Or is it that noise you just heard that you just cant explain? Maybe with the progression of modern time, mankind was just fed up with living in the dark. What may seem like progression, may be ourselves driving this wild side away from us. God created this beautiful wilderness for us to enjoy and survive off. Since the beginning of time, man was one with the night sky. The only light, the soft glow of a wood fire. The heavens guided man over rough terrain and through treacherous seas. Man was in touch with the world around him and every aspect of life revolved around the wild. Men hunted, fished, gathered, and grew their own food! Crystal clear water came from a mountain spring or a natural well. Everything we needed to survive was right there at our fingertips. Nature provided and replenished it all.

What has happened in just the last 100 years or less? Man still lives in these beautiful wild places, but we live out of touch with our wild side. Man covers these beautiful places with concrete and steel. We are living on top of nature, instead of living with nature. Today man has dammed its rivers, overpopulated its lands and is scared of its wild. We have become lazy as a society. Grocery Stores are filled with the newest health craze, beaches are covered in condos, and our water is cleaned with chemicals. Why after thousands of years would man except such laziness?

Men and women alike knew how to clean wild game, fish the sea, grow a crop and then cook over an open flame. Today people are disgusted by the thought of killing an animal or even getting their hands dirty growing a garden! I was once told by a vegetarian that they don’t eat meat cause they don’t want to kill innocent animals. That is a perfectly good answer and to each their own. But, I  asked this person what they grew in their garden and their response was hysterical. They said, ” oh no, gross, there are bugs and worms in the dirt, and its too hard for me!” Would you have ever guessed? A vegetarian that doesn’t eat meat or want to even try to grow their own vegetables. Well I guess 100 years ago natural selection would have selected this lazy person. Its scary not only how lazy people are, but how little knowledge they have in which mankind used to survive for thousands of years. Now I’m not going to be a hypocrite and say that I don’t love the convenience of whole foods or ordering a pizza at 2 am. But, ask yourself one question. If the lights went out tomorrow or there was no more running water, could you provide for your family? Do you have the basic skills to grow a simple garden, hunt a deer, make a fire without a lighter, or find clean water? I’m not saying to be one of those weird dooms day preppers, but just learning some basic survival skills will not only help you, but make you feel alive!

Every time I sleep under the stars, I try to strengthen these skills not only for myself, but one day to pass on to my son or daughter. Don’t let these wild skills slip away with our modern progression. Remember that mankind has lived longer in the wild than in civilization. Remember where we came from, go out, and have fun getting back to the simple life!

Cooking wild trout caught in Piute Lake, CA

 

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