A Light in the Black

A Light in the Black

“Something’s calling me back
There’s a light in the black
Am I ready to go
I’m coming home”

from Light In The Black by Rainbow

November in Orkney and the days are short and the nights are long. I’m told that the reason many people love to visit Orkney is the reason few can stay there: the loneliness.

I’m here for a week to clear the house before my family travel up here for Christmas. I’m on my own in a house with no neighbours which hasn’t been lived in for many years. I’ve worked hard for days, or at least what feels hard for an office worker, and I’m tired. It’s been dark for hours and it’s time for bed. I turn off the light and get under the covers. It’s completely dark. No, I mean completely dark. Nothing. I pass my hand in front of my face. Nothing. I’m lying on an airbed with duvets above and below. I feel as if I’m in a flotation tank.

I feel my way to the window and look out. Nothing. It’s completely and utterly dark. No moon and no light anywhere. Wait. There was a flash. No, it’s gone. There it is again. It’s out at sea. I realise it must be the lighthouse on North Ronaldsay. I get back in bed happy that there’s a light in the black.

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