Last month, on a fine late-summer’s night, I awoke for the Three O`Clock Pee (a life-long ritual). Then after tossing and turning for almost forty-five minutes, I decided to get up. I put on my robe and slippers, planning to go to the kitchen for some peanut butter on toast. But I stopped – a light breeze was coming in the sliding glass door, which I always keep slightly ajar.
Remembering it had been years since I was outside in the wee small hours, I slid the door all the way open and stepped out onto the upper deck. Gad; I’d forgotten what it was like. On this night, a waning moon hung in the sky above the Cascades and stringy, broken clouds were scattered about the sky, some hiding the moon now and then. The marvelous air, cleared of the day’s effluvia and pregnant with the dews and damps made one eager to breath deeply.
And let’s not forget the wonderful silence. The greasy a-holes with un-muffled Harley-Davidsons were holed up in their pestilent hovels, humping their mommas. The local semis were parked and silent. Delivery vans and trash collectors had not yet gotten on the road. The only thing I heard was an owl hooting away; it seemed to be about three houses down, perched high in one of Amy’s maples. I’ve lived here for twenty years and this was the first time I heard one. Oh, and I also heard some Coyotes yipping in the distance. They must have run some poor creature to earth and were reveling in their kill.
I unfolded one of the deck chairs and, in robe and slippers, sat. Lord of all I surveyed.
Most neighbors below us on the cul-de-sac leave on a porch light or two so it wasn’t completely dark. With their lights, plus the moon, stars and clouds, this night-time vista was surprisingly different from that seen in the day.
I sat for close to an hour, enjoying this unique experience and was getting a bit dozy when our friend’s rooster sound off. That meant the sun would shortly appear and spoil the ambiance, so I went back inside, got in bed, punched-up the pillow and went to sleep.
That night was pure magic. Why I don’t go out at night more often, I’ll never know.