Hear astronaut Chris Hadfield’s powerful message to Canadian children

Hadfield's reading of his book "The Darkest Dark" for a Toronto children's hospital contains a welcome message of finding beauty in darkness.
By: Madeleine Hall
May 16, 2020
Photo: Chris Hadfield (YouTube)

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield has recorded a touching video for Holland Bloorview Kids Hospital in Toronto, which the hospital shared to social media on Friday. The video features Hadfield performing a reading of his children’s book The Darkest Dark to comfort children served by the hospital, and across Canada. Hadfield, with a little help from his dog Albert, reads the book from start to finish, holding it up to the camera so viewers can see the beautiful illustrations by The Fan Brothers.

This isn’t the first time Hadfield has stepped up to offer welcome advice to Canadians. In March he recorded a video of his self-isolation tips, based on the 146 days he spent aboard the International Space Station.

The Darkest Dark tells the story of Chris, a young boy who dreams of becoming an astronaut. Chris also suffers from a fear of the dark, and is afraid to sleep in his own room at night, imagining aliens and other monsters hiding in the shadows. One night, young Chris has a revelation about the darkness after witnessing the televised 1969 Moon landing at a neighbour’s house. He notices just how dark it is in space, and begins to let go of his fear: "For the first time, Chris could see the power, and the mystery, and the velvety black beauty of the dark.”

The video’s message about finding beauty in the great unknown comes as a welcome invitation to all Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic, when so much about the future seems hidden from view. Hadfield closes the video with this powerful piece of advice: “Don’t be afraid. The dark is for dreaming.”

Watch the full video here:



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