the night was everything the night was meant to be. still. calm. clear. it contained the promise of every first night of every owl spring i have tickled for the past 26 years.
at sunset, i coursed up the gravel road to my start point. there, i would reflexively engage in my time-tested protocol: 3-minute stops at half-mile intervals for however long i could last. if nothing else, the owler and his methods have remained constant.
several stops in, however, the night became everything it has become:
even in the stillness though, it turned out to be a perfect evening for shared nothingness.
jupiter and venus shone like beacons. wisps of clouds surrendered to cooling air. water moved below ice, creating a palpable tension in the landscape. first nights…first stops…rapid-fire flashbacks to years past and owls and stops and encounters and faces and moments and life and love and isolation and fear and loathing in the north woods.
i’ve been there and done that so many times, but for some reason i keep going back there and doing that.
standing in the middle of the road, looking skyward, it was hard to not be scalded by insignificance. stars and planets graced the night as they have for millions of years. i stood beneath the same astral light that shined on my forefathers when they stepped out from an irish pub in dublin a thousand years earlier and walked upright for the first time (that day).
the sky and a sense of being puts my pride in its place every night. game. set. match.
at 22:00, the aurora came to life, sending stilletos of green overhead. then just as quickly, it retired to its luminescent arc at the top of the world.
no owls and nary a wisp of wind. contentment. a rejuvenating earth and silence that was not just my own.
tomorrow’s blog? less sap.