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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Magazine > Dec/Jan 2020 > ”Why i stepped out of the light and into the darkness”

”Why i stepped out of the light and into the darkness”

When a childhood fear of the dark chased her into adulthood, Sigri Sandberg set out into the polar night, where she found a valuable treasure in need of defence
As told to Hattie Parish. Photographs iStock

I ‘ve been afraid of the dark since I was a little girl. “Remember to lock both doors,” I’d remind my parents after one of them had sung me a goodnight song. I’d remind them every night, so no one could come in from the dark. It’s not like I’m alone in this – humans have always struggled with both metaphorical and literal darkness. While light represents life and safety, darkness has long been an enemy, something unsafe and heralding death. In religious texts dating back thousands of years, we find sun gods on the one hand, and a dark and cold kingdom of the dead on the other. And this dichotomy of the light heaven and the dark hell has persisted in our culture. ‘I think this all comes back to fear. In the dark, you lose the control and perspective you have in the light. It’s a primal thing, designed to help us when we’re in danger, and a healthy respect for the night was quite practical. But we’ve gone too far. Isn’t it light enough now? When you look at a satellite image of the Earth, the side experiencing night is lit up like a Christmas tree. If you live in the city and look out of the window, there will be a greyish, yellow haze between you and the Milky Way. ‘I live in Norway, the land of the polar night, and have a cabin in the mountains in Finse. True darkness can still be experienced there – but I’ve never done it alone. So one December day I headed up there alone to seek natural darkness, knowledge, and to see how long I dare stay.

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About Healthy Magazine

Welcome to the Christmas issue of healthy! In the December/January edition, we look at how to avoid stress and stay upbeat over the festive period. Plus, we’ve got some tips on making healthier choices at the Christmas party and setting achievable goals for the year ahead. Many of us suffer with stress over Christmas, so for this issue, we wanted to think about all of the positive things that come with it, too. From our fresh-thinking article on perfecting the art of getting tipsy, to advice on how to break the Christmas weight-gain/January diet cycle, we’re approaching the colder months with a positive outlook. In the name of balance, writer Laura Potter looks at why we should practise Pilates to build strength and improve posture. We also look into the benefits of art therapy, as well as offering some crafting tips for you to try. And if you’re hosting your own festive party this year, don’t forget to flip the magazine over for festive recipe inspiration in our dedicated food section. Find all of this, plus our usual expert-led content, in the latest issue of Healthy.