I love walking at night this time of year, especially when it’s mild. I can leave my hood down and listen and see and be touched. Maybe there’s laughter or music from a house party at the end of the block. I may run into a snowshoe hare or pass through light pouring out of someone’s picture window. I may watch the moon rise.
I think this love of darkness and its contrasts (like my love of summer thunderstorms) came early, growing up in northern Alberta. I often went for a night walk through the pasture or hayfield or along the road allowance that ran east of our farm as a kid. I remember our grade five science book had a chapter on stars and we had to stand out at 30 below (Fahrenheit) and find all the constellations. I went out every night after supper and kept going out, long after the assignment was done. And when I think about it, what I still like about walking at night is the feeling of being alone in the universe, and at the same time, being lifted up and embraced. I wonder if it’s the same feeling we have in the womb. Whatever it is, I never cease to be thrilled by the fall of night.