So, I Am a Nyctophile

night street
Night image via Pixabay

I was just browsing some articles at and I came across one whose headline included the word nyctophile. I didn’t know that one.

A nyctophile is a person who has a special love for night and darkness. This is a word with Greek origins – nyktos meaning “night” and‎ philos meaning “love.” You probably have heard of other “love of” words like book lovers (bibliophiles) and astrophiles (lovers of stars and astronomy).

I guess I am a nyctophile. I write a lot of articles here about night-related things from the dark night of the soul, mid-night, middle of the night insomnia, Mr. Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream (and that observance) and Twelfth Night and many posts about Full Moons and stars.

I’m writing this in the early night. Is that dusk or twilight?  I like knowing about word origins (etymology) and I write about that topic elsewhere. Thinking about night got me wondering what the actual difference is (if there actually is a difference) between words like night, dusk, evening, nightfall, twilight, eventide and sundown. When is it officially “night”? I wrote about all those words defined on another blog of mine.

And now I’m writing during eventide, which is an archaic word for this time that sounds rather Romantic.

Perhaps, my occasional insomnia is really a result of actually enjoying the night. In the heat of summer, the night is cooler. The air often smells more fragrantly full of herbs, flowers, and trees.

There are fewer people around at night. Outside and even inside my own home. I guess that could sound lonely but I find it very peaceful. I don’t miss the sounds of traffic and leaf blowers at all. That peace allows me to more easily write, meditate and just plain do some thinking.

Okay, that last item can be a problem. It’s hard for me to turn off my thoughts. I’m more productive at night. Some night’s I have more energy at night, even after a fully active day.  Unfortunately, that sometimes makes it hard to fall asleep.

That 3 a.m. middle of the night time is often the land of writers, painters, and poets who also find inspiration in the night sky and absence of distractions.

Sometimes looking up at the stars makes me feel small. Sometimes it makes me feel finite. Sometimes it makes me feel that I am infinite and that I am connected to the whole enormous universe.

William Blake thought he could see a world in a grain of sand. Late at night, I sometimes believe there are worlds, maybe galaxies, within me.

milky way
Milky Way via Pixabay

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A lifelong educator on and off the Internet. Random by design and predictably irrational. It's turtles all the way down. Dolce far niente.

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