It sounds strange to say it, but night is my favorite time of day.

I had some errands to run today, and since tonight is Tony's regular poker night with the boys, I figured that 10:00 pm was a good a time as any to be out running around. Now I know that some people, women especially, don't like to be out after dark. The shadows make them nervous. But I love the night.

I like to put the top down on the convertible, and I take the dark winding back roads as much as possible to avoid the streetlights. I love the way the air smells...sweeter, and somehow cleaner than it does in the day. You can pick out the faint scent of night-blooming flowers that are all but overpowered during the day. I love the way the wind feels cooler and heavier against my skin as it rushes by the open car. I love the sounds of the crickets and cicadas singing their night songs, and the way the fireflies flash randomly in the tall grasses as I pass. I love the emptiness of the streets, when all the busy people who spend their days running from one place to the next are tucked away inside their homes, drifting off to sleep by the ambient light of the TV. I love the moon, pale and ghostly in the sky, making all things subtly glow silver in its light. (Sometimes I think that I would like to be the moon, content to just observe without intruding, lazily watching the silent stories of all things below). I love the way the stars wink at me as if they know some amusing antidote that they cannot wait to share. I love the way the darkness is a tangible thing and I can become submerged in it, like wrapping myself in a cloak or slipping into the water of a dark pool. I love the shadows, and the way they stretch on infinitely into the blackness. I love the stillness, the calmness, when I can release this breath that it feels like I've been holding all day and then

The night is a living, breathing thing for me, and I welcome its companionship. There is a kind of quiet energy here, and being out in it makes me feel soothed and alive at the same time. Why do we lock ourselves in our stuffy, artificially-lit homes where we hide and wait for the dawn to come? This is the best time. This, right now, is when the magic happens. This is nightfall, the eventide, the witching hour. And I, in truth, am a creature of the night.

"It often seems to me that the night is much more alive and richly colored than the day,"
- van Gogh, in a letter to his brother Theo in 1888


Anonymous said...

i feel the same way. i always wonder why more people dont stay out to enjoy the night.

Quirky said...

I think I appreciate the night more because that is my most active time of the *day*. Of course, I've always been a night person. It makes Tony crazy to no end, but I have found that I am in good company when it comes to my nocturnalism. Van Gogh wouldn't go to bed until 3 or 4am. Marcel Proust also had the habit of sleeping all day and working all night. His friends and publishers would only stop by after 10pm when they wanted to see him. Even Winston Churchill was a night owl. At least I'm in good company.

tootie said...

I just have to are such a good writer!!

Mary Ellen said...

wow Beth, I want to like quote you on my facebook profile!! :) well done, well done!