Exploration

Misty Nightstalking

My house is on a little hill in a big river valley.  It’s a misty night, the mist pooling in the lower parts of my yard, making my house an island in a ghostly sea.  The moon is full tonight, and right now it is bright, close, and almost directly overhead.

I go outside, and the light of the moon far overpowers the light streaming from a few windows in my house. Shadows are deep and sharp, but the full light is bright enough that I can see the tracks left by my footsteps in the dew-soaked grass. The forest that surrounds me is mostly oaks and maples, and it makes a thicker darkness than the mixed piney woods where I grew up. I’d go for a longer walk, but I haven’t spent enough time exploring in the daylight to unerringly navigate the darkness under the trees.

The full moon makes the mist thicker and more visible, so that the landscape appears to fade into a pale grey with the distance, rather than running up against the wall of dark trees on the other side of the valley.  I wander further downhill as my yard slopes toward a small stream, half expecting the mist to obscure my vision. Mist doesn’t really work that way, though, and as I walk downward the mist retreats before me, only to form again behind me, leaving me alone in a little bubble of clarity.

So it’s very beautiful outside tonight, and it reminds me why I do love the country, despite its associated inconveniences.

Poetic musings aside, It says a lot about my default frame of reference that, upon stepping through my door to behold all this, I thought, “Wow, someone really turned down the draw distance on the world.”