The simple intuitive wrongness of the scene now fascinates me. I could not see what the shadows were, or how creepily close they came to where I slept, before I returned with full vision to inspect them. But the fear I felt began in that first moment. I knew something was wrong, before I could see it or identify it. And something was very, very wrong.
A few weeks into our tenure in
I do not consider myself a particularly fearful person, on this basic sort of level. My friend Ben and I even had a term for the sort of behavior one engages in, in order to face and conquer those fears: The Glass Elevator Syndrome. It was dubbed so, after the act of repeatedly riding glass elevators while looking straight down, in order to overcome that sinking stomach fear of heights. The sorts of things one might do, in order to display Glass Elevator Syndrome, may include learning to paraglide or BASE Jump to overcome a fear of heights, forcing oneself to get back on a horse after a bad fall, signing up to volunteer at literacy program, a nursing home, a homeless shelter in a bad neighborhood, or to go door-to-door for a volatile political campaign of some sort (imagine the good this would do for a people-pleasing introvert like myself!)
Some fears, like my terror at discovering footprints at my window, or the sudden gasping adrenaline rush I felt the first time I rode over a 7 foot swell in a kayak, the hairs at the back of my neck prickling when Nyssa raises the alarm that someone besides Peter is approaching the cabin after dark, are good and healthy and the sort of instinct that keeps one alert and alive. Others, like my primal reaction (as Peter identified it) to the harmless Aurora, or my near paralyzing fear of going to parties where I don't know a soul, or of having to eat something with too much onion in it - these are fears that, though perhaps born from some legitimate intuition, should be pushed through when one knows the fear is baseless, that the end will be good. I know there are no monsters in the dark corners of the house at night. I go outside to see the Northern Lights, and enjoy them until the cold creeps through my boots.