The Gift of the Night

I woke at 2:30 this morning with too much on my mind. After lying in bed for a while, trying to go back to sleep, I gave in and got up somewhat grumpily. I knew it was going to be a long day.

I walked into my dark studio and reached for the light switch, then noticed the glow of moonlight and paused with my hand on the switch. My mood shifted slightly and, without turning on the light, I slipped into the warm night, the waning moon shining softly through the damp air. I sat on the picnic table and listened to the faint chirping of a few distant crickets.

A few stars peeked through the mist above the trees that stood vaguely silhouetted in the moonlit sky. I thought (hoped) I’d see some nocturnal inhabitants of the land, but they must have been in the woods or their burrows. All was soft and still.

I sat alone, resting in the solitude and silence. Nothing was in focus, nothing demanded attention. There’s a magically alive quality to the quiet night, and, despite my earlier grumpiness, I was thankful to be awake and outside, and I thought about how much I miss by habitually sleeping until after the sun is up.

As I sat musing on the picnic table, my favorite passage in one of my favorite books, Prince Caspian, came to mind. Young Lucy awakens to her name being called and walks through the trees in the quiet of the night while everyone else sleeps. All of a sudden she comes upon Aslan and rushes to him, burying her face in his mane, basking in his loving, comforting presence. No words are exchanged; they just sit and are together.

I sit alone and yet not alone for half an hour, cherishing every minute of peace and silent communion, then head inside with quiet enthusiasm for the day. I know it will be a good day.