I do this thing in order to realign myself. I run in the dark without making a sound, wearing dark clothes and a mask. This practice may seem silly, but shadowrunning is an experience in itself. The sounds around you become louder. Every shadow in the moonlight becomes clear. You become the shadow and run with it.
For the first time in my life, I took my son with me. He's afraid of the dark and I sought this as a learning activity.
During the day we discussed how humans are the deadliest beings on this earth. Those things that go bump in the night should fear us, not the other way around. If something is afraid of something in the darkness, that thing should be afraid of humans.
We discussed how humans evolved to craft weapons and other tools to hunt with. How humans could use their superior strategy skills can overcome stronger creatures and our ability to hunt our prey into exhaustion lets us take down faster creatures.
However, as deadly as we are, we have to know how and when to turn it on and off. We need to be able walk unnoticed in broad daylight... and in the dark.
I taught and gave him his own black face mask cut from a strip of simple cloth to commemorate the event. He also carried a SOG fixed blade on his belt behind the small of his back but also positioned so that it's easy to draw. I instructed my chatty son that he would have to rely on gestures to communicate and not words. We set out into the darkness.
After we were done walking down the street, we wordlessly put our masks up and I started running through a field without making a sound with my son at my heels. I stopped and crouched. My son appeared next to me wide-eyed. I pointed at a distant power tower about half a mile on the other side of the field. I dropped my mask so that he could see my lips and with barely a whisper... instructed him to go to that tower by himself and come back. He was mortified. The tower loomed against a dark moonlit sky.
Without complaint or argument, he set out on his task walking at a high speed, eyes and ears open, with his hand on the handle of his sheathed knife. After he was about 20 yards ahead of me, I took off perpendicular to him until I was next to the dark woodline. I could see him, he couldn't see me. Quietly I jogged alongside him with pride in my heart as I watched my son face his fear like a badass.
At one point he stopped dead in his tracks. He stopped because he heard something far away. Then his eyes spied a dark silhouette in front of him. He crouched down and analyzed his surroundings quietly and partially hidden. I was terrified this would be the point he turned back. I thought about how I wouldn't shame him, but we'd try again in a month or so.
To my surprise, he continued his crouch but stealthily approached the dark silhouette. Once he realized it was just a tree limb, he quickened his pace back to the tower. Once he finally made it, all bets were off. He spun around and took off back to where he thought I was at a full run. Smiling I ran alongside of him, still hidden.
After a ways I gave a low whistle. He stopped and crouched. Once he saw me waving, he quietly ran next to me and sat in the grass beside me. We listened to all the sounds around us. If we heard something that didn't fit in with the sounds of the night, we would point in the direction of the small sound and nod to show that we acknowledged it.
Finally, we headed back home, but this time I gestured to walk between two houses. I motioned for him to lower his mask. When we made it through the yard and back on the street I asked him why I told him to lower his mask even though we were remaining quiet. Brightly, he answered it was because if we WERE seen, we'd look like robbers.
I could not be prouder of my son right now.