Saturday, January 07, 2012
Awake In the Night
The moon at midnight was a distant, radiant orb, dusting the landscape with silver sparkles. There is only a vague familiarity to the known world on such nights. I'd been asleep but the moonlight shining through my window woke me. The night sky was irresistible. I pulled on boots and a coat, tugged a hat over my head and stepped outside. The air was cold but not biting. The yard and woods spread out before me in the ghostly light. Not a sound broke the stillness, not a breath of wind moved a tree branch or the tall, dead grasses as meadow's edge. Everything was at once unrecognizable and eerily familiar. In one's imagination, almost anything could be creeping stealthily through the dark. In reality, most unidentifiable lumps are ordinary bushes.
As my eyes adjusted and I woke up a little more, the night became a magical place. Everything was painted with silver - the small drifts of leaves at the edge of the yard, the ropes of my swing, the roofline of the house next door. I walked on the moonpath, amazed that I could cast a shadow in the middle of the night. There were night noises in the woods, scurryings and chufflings and the distant bark of a dog. Only when the voices of a pack of hunting coyotes carried across the far meadow did I turn for home. I would have liked to see the moonlight trace runnels of liquid silver along their fur but I did not want them to see me.
Back in bed I snuggled under the down comforter, still seeing in my mind's eye the play of moonlight on the still pond waters and gaunt tree trunks. In the distance the coyotes yapped. I fell asleep, safe and warm in body while my dream self floated up to the stars and the sunlit moon.