Darkness has shaped the lives of humans for millennia. In her new book, Dark Skies, author Tiffany Francis travels around Britain and Europe to learn more about nocturnal landscapes and explains how we can learn to appreciate the night.
This is a relaxing episode which is perfect for a cosy autumn evening. Make a cup of tea and put your feet up!
“If I had to box myself in I would class myself as a nature writer,” says Tiffany. “But I find that nature is so connected with everything in life that it’s hard to just have it it on its own without connecting it with anything else.” Her book covers nature, travel, history and even a little bit of folklore.
A lot of the book is about humanity’s relationship with the night sky, but what attracts us to the night?
“I think it’s a few things. Personally, I have quite a connection with the night sky because I like looking at the stars and the universe really, without sounding too hippy-dippy. I’m not a very good stargazer, I don’t know really know many constellations or anything like that […] but I just love looking at this mass of universe that we’ve just really scraped the surface of,” she says.
“We don’t really know anything about it. It’s so infinite and just unknown. [..] Often as humans we get so used to knowing everything, and we research everything, and we understand everything and we’re so enlightened and all this sort of stuff. But I think we’re drawn to stuff that maybe we don’t know everything about.”
Tiffany’s journey into the night takes her from Butser Hill in the South Downs all the way to Tromsø in the Arctic Circle, where she witnesses the natural spectacle of the Northern Lights.
She also enjoys the experience of walking alone at night, as it makes her feel more connected to nature.
You can read more about Tiffany’s experiences in In The Moment issue 29, which is out now in the UK.
Dark Skies by Tiffany Francis is published by Bloomsbury. It’s on sale now in the UK priced £16.99.