Acquainted with the Night

Last night as I stood on the back deck, and watched the dogs rooting through the ivy at the edges of the yard, doing their nightly perimeter patrol, and other doggy things, I looked up for a second, and was made breathless by the beauty of the night sky.

It wasn't the stereotypical starry veil that poets write about so often, or the crystalline beauty of a perfectly full moon on a cold night, when the moonbeam makes frost glitter, but a sea of clouds floating like prop clouds on a painted backgound, with the moon glowing through them like a spotlight turned toward the entire earth.

I called Fuzzy down from his office, and said, “Bring the camera,” forgetting that it was still hooked up to my desktop machine by its USB umbilical cord. (There was much grumbling when Fuzzy realized that the hard way. ) When he arrived on the deck he looked at me like I was crazy, a possibility I remain open to.

“Have you seen the sky?” I asked. “It's AMAZING!”

“I know,” he said, in that way men have of being smug about an experience and chagrinned about forgetting to share it, at the same time. “I drove home with it.”

I turned the camera to “night shot” and snapped a couple pictures that entirely fail to capture the scene (regular shots with flash made the sky appear black on black), beyond a mere hint of the magic.

But even if the photos fall short, the image of that sky, that amazing glowy puffy sky, is printed indelibly on my brain.

And when I fell asleep several hours (and 200 pages of a Clive Cussler novel) later, a delighted smile still curved my lips.

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