Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Dark

The house from the front yard at 6:45 this evening.
I just took the trash out to the curb.

Well, we don't really have a curb. But there's a spot at the end of the gravel driveway, just past the culvert, next to the road, where we leave our trash and recycling cans to get picked up. I walked out there without a flashlight, although it was 6:30 and already dark. Stepping out into the blustery, rainy, and still rather warm evening, I was surprised by how dark it was. In the distance, to the south, I could see the lights of the towns of Casey and Greenup reflected in the clouds above. Otherwise, nothing but blackness. Perhaps my eyes hadn't adjusted to the dark, having just stepped out of the fairly bright (and full of music from the record player) kitchen, but it was dark. I stumbled a bit walking down the driveway pulling the trash can along behind me, but that may have been my own clumsiness. By now I know the slight westward curve of the driveway, and can feel it with my feet. But still, without stars, it is dark here. I've often mentioned the stars, and how amazing they are here in the country. But I don't think I've really talked about the dark. And how thorough it is here. It's something rather unnerving, really. As a guy who grew up in cities, I never really knew what dark was. When we first arrived, we were amazed -- nearly blown over -- by the stars. But it's on cloudy and windy nights like tonight that I know what night is. When I turned around, I could see the lights from the house. In real life, they appear much brighter than my camera was able to capture. The house looks warm, and festive, even though beyond the lights, no sound other than the howling wind and the mad windchimes could be heard. And over the house's shoulder, the lights of Charleston, glowing in the sky. So tonight, it's dark.

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