Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Spring Night

It's been a long time since I've really looked at the stars. It doesn't seem all that long ago that most of my walks with Duncan were spent under cold dark skies, Orion rising in the south and prowling across the sky above the park while we plodded through the snow or laid down on the firm crust of ice that covered the hillside above the lower soccer field. Those were such magnificent evenings despite the cold, simply because they were quiet and all the night seemed ours. Now, when Orion has moved on and the Big Dipper is righting itself in the northern sky, Duncan and I are settling in for the evening and cuddling on the couch while we wait for Ken to come home. We make a few trips out for quick bathroom breaks, but we don't stay for long and I can't remember ever stopping to look and listen to the night.

Tonight, because it was our first hot night of the season, I refused to cook and made a nice salad instead, and although we took a quick walk through the park after work, I saved our big stroll until after the sun had set and the Ultimate Frisbee players had gathered in one of the baseball fields to chase their red and blue glowing discs. Except for the grunts and cheers from the twenty or so players, the park was quiet after the traffic died down and it seemed our own again. No runners, no crowds of after-work leaguers vying for time on the diamond, no thugs menacing the skate park. A nice warm breeze drifted over us and even in the dark I could see the snow falling from the Cottonwoods which ring the soccer field. The lower field is my favorite because it is the darkest and the shadows are the deepest and the willows, which stand at the northern end look magnificent under the moonlight, their long, slender, branches swaying in the breeze, their long fingers reaching out to stroke the dancing moths. Duncan and I could lay in the cool, clipped grass and go unnoticed by anyone who happened to be walking at that hour. Last Winter, after the after-school sports teams had moved on and the park emptied out, I felt as though we were its guardians, there alone to enjoy and revel in it, but when Spring returned, with her noisy kiddie soccer teams and their terrible SUV-driving parents, it seemed as though our devotion to it during the long, dark months meant nothing. But tonight, under a clear sky overflowing with stars, the park was ours again, and the sway and rustle of the willow tendrils and the slow arc of the moon and stars above us were reminder enough that the park has not forgotten our devotion and has saved some of her best moments for our eyes alone.

1 comment:

Sue said...

I loved, loved, loved this blog.