After midnight on December 6, 2009, I couldn’t help myself. I had the lights out in the kitchen and I stared out onto the dark moonlit lawn. I felt a need to stand outside, in the dark, in the cold, alone.
The deck held that silvery glow that lit up the yard, and ironically darkened the shadows even more. Ice glittered, scattered around the deck, haphazardly, always with one of the floor boards frosted with snow, seemly standing guard over the shimmering silver. The railings on the north side were frosted white, while the east balustrade bathed in light as the wood showed through.
Wrapping my robe tighter around my waist I slipped outside. I should go in and grab my coat, but I had the feeling if I did I would miss out. The moon would disappear behind a cloud and I wouldn’t be able to enjoy this second.
So I stayed. Shivering I walked to the edge of the deck. I looked upward, at the waning gibbous moon sitting in that hypnotic sky glowing white. The sky around it was a dark, dark blue grey. Farther east, the skyline glowed into a whitish, grayish, and peach, with streaks of grey cloud rising above the horizon everything was standing still. The sky was dotted with stars, only the brightest competed with the moon light.
The constellation Cassiopeia, was sitting brightly in the west earlier tonight. Somewhere around seven PM, I had been standing out in the driveway, staring at the sky, as I waited for my dog. At that time, I couldn’t even see the moon, it rose late. Now, I’m facing east and the stars and the moon are above me, bathing everything in silver light.
I heard a large animal moving around inside the trees. The wood of the Bog Willows snapped, as it moved none too gently though them. I told myself it was a deer, and continued to stand on the deck.
The white snow glowed on the lower deck, in the grass, the burn pile, and painted patches skimmed in and out of the shadows throughout the yard. Slipping under the trees and crossing the fence line into the plowed fields.
The trees were black marks in the shadows. Beyond them I could see the glow of farm houses, crossing acres of farm fields. The closest farm to the northeast had a blinking red light, a warning beacon for the farmer, for when he flew his Cessna in the dark. The further away the farms were, the less bright the lights. Most only had on their outside night lights to keep away the wild animals.
The faint smell of manure and hay, wafted around the cold, still air. Night air has a different scent, at least for me, so completely different than the daylight hours. The night holds excitement, adventure! A need to explore! Possibilities move in-between the shadows. My wander lust kicks in…
I shivered. I didn’t want to step back in the house; this was too beautiful to turn away from. I told myself, just a few more minutes. I looked back up into the sky, I got lost, as the ground disappeared and the stars pulled me upward…