Night

Throwing on my winter coat, I head out into the dark to retrieve my book from the car. The crisp cold air envelopes me as I open the door and step outside. It makes me zip my coat up further. I inhale. Iciness fills my lungs. It sweeps over my face as a breeze hurries by. My pace slows as I move down the sidewalk. The memory of the forgotten book has faded away.

I let my head fall back slowly, taking in the vastness of the dark, navy sky. I gaze at the sparkling dots shining out there in the magnificent depth. It looks smooth—but deep. Miles and miles away. And going on for miles and miles still.

“Hush…Lay down your troubled mind. / The day has vanished and left us behind / And the wind, whispering soft lullabies / Will soothe, so close your weary eyes.” Secret Garden’s lyrics to “Prayer” encircle me; and I breathe the words slowly. The tune, her voice, the instruments all play in my mind.

I didn’t want to talk, or breathe, or sing. I didn’t want to do anything. I just wanted to absorb the darkness around me. I wanted to absorb the peace and beauty. I wanted to become a part of it. I wanted to absorb the cold, though I shun it in the day. I want to be alone with Night, though I crave companionship when the sun shines.

“Can you feel spirits embracing your soul?” The song goes on.

Darkness is the time for reflection. Darkness drives the soul from a person, throwing it into the universe with other souls and spirits and thoughts.

The moon mirrors the sun’s bright light so brilliantly. All is completely still. I almost forget the world I stand in, the neighborhood I am surrounded by, the to-do list of tomorrow, even my purpose in coming out here. I want to close my eyes and float into the air—soar, peacefully and silently, into the dark, sleeping heavens. And yet, I wanted to fall. To close my eyes and let my whole body fall backwards—ignorant of where or when or even how I would land. I want to spiral downwards through the stars, reaching for, but not quite touching them as I go by. Touching them would make it real; and I don’t want to leave this dream of magic yet.

Night’s shimmering cloak outdoes the sun’s bright cape. Day declares its presence with bursts of light; it kept nothing hidden, and so nothing marvelous—nothing a mystery. All is open for men to see. Night whispers secret imaginings of beauty.

All too soon it will pass. In a few hours my eyelids will drop heavily upon my face and night will go on without me, sweeping over land and singing a tune unheard to men who do not strain to hear. I want to hear it. But I will miss it all.

Dawn shatters the magnificence of night.

I want to see the magic of the stars again. I want to smell the cold, empty air—air that’s ready for dreams and thoughts to fly away in. I want to hear those whispers of beautiful imaginings. I want to ascend into the heavens—into the darkness.

“So dream, while secrets of darkness unfold.”

Starry Night

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