This weekend, I snapped a leash on my dog, slid on a jacket and stepped into the night. Shadows melted houses and trees into concealed silhouettes while windows illuminated the otherwise hidden interiors: stairs winding past a wall of family photographs, a couple watching television, somebody crunching an evening snack. Caught in the confines of their little worlds, no one noticed me peek into their lives.
My dog tugged me under the yellow gate and onto the wooded trail, eagerly pursuing the lingering scent of another creature. The glow of the streetlights faded and the trail blurred into the blanket of blackness. Grinning, I left my headlamp zipped in my pocket. When I finally stopped, I settled on a moss-slicked bench overlooking the inlet. The blue, red and yellow lights from houses and streetlamps shimmered on the water and extended, beacons in the night. Staring up at the stars, I whispered the familiar incantation, “star bright, star light, first star I see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might have the wish I wish tonight.”
There is something wondrous about the night. Maybe it is the magic suspended in the dark, in the mystery of being unable to see every turn in the trail and every piece of gravel. To often, we get tied up in the details, in every flashing advertisement and lengthening to do list. The dark rests our eyes and our senses and its unknowns breathe fresh possibility into our lungs. So here’s to a refreshing night walk!