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.

12 comments:

Brian Miller said...

lovely write...the night is so magical...and in the light of the moon certain things come alive we will never see in the day...and love that you dream floated up there at the end...smiles.

Tabor said...

Magical. Thanks for going outside for me. I knew it was interesting and exciting!

Out on the prairie said...

A soft and enjoyable moment to be part of.

Reya Mellicker said...

This post is exquisite, Pauline.

May I also say that you're a lot braver than I. The moon scares me!

Judith said...

You're a far braver woman than I, so I thank you for giving me the experience.
What's been prowling around here in the night is BEARS, the weather's been so mild they haven't gone properly to sleep.

Barbara said...

You are such a trooper! I'll bet you didn't even carry a flashlight. Night walks are both frightening and invigorating to me with my lack of proprioception.

Pauline said...

Brian - there's always some magic about on bright moonlit nights

Tabor - I love being out of doors late at night

It was OOTP

Reya - the moon scares you? Why?

J - they're out here, too. They're more afraid of me than I of them. The coyotes scare me more. I did see a possum.

Barbara - no need for a flashlight. It was really bright out there and I know my way around... and you taught me a new word today - thanks!

Roberta S said...

Night-scared, I am not, until some neighbor informs me they saw wolves in the field. Still I was missing a lot of things out there that (after reading this), I now look for. Lovely things, pensive things, silvery things that don't go 'woof and grr' in the night.

Pauline said...

Roberta - don' t brave the wolves! I don't like things that howl in the night and they finally drove me in. I admit there might have been a bear or two about - I made enough noise to chase away most timid wildlife but not to disturb my sleeping neighbors ;)

lavendertangerine said...

I absolutely love this. It's a gorgeous post. You described the experience of slipping out at night perfectly, and with exquisite details..." 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." That's probably my favorite.

I would love to follow you to read more posts like this but have no idea how to do so from wordpress...nevertheless, thanks for sharing!

Pauline said...

Thanks for the comment, Lavender. I don't know enough about WordPress to help you but if I find out how to follow from there, I'll let you know...

Barbara Shallue said...

There's nothing more magical to me than the world bathed in moonlight! You've captured it beautifully!