When I first moved permanently to the farm, and lived here on my own until Scott was able to work remotely (the pandemic’s one silver lining), I found the darkness that fell after sundown to be quite daunting. Country dark is all-enveloping, and even that which was familiar, my parked car, for instance, took on the guise of something menacing. So, once night had fallen, I rarely wandered off the safety of the front porch.
Then, Bowie arrived, followed quickly by the sheep. At first, I’d race across the path from the house to the barn and then back. Not even the lights we’d installed to make me “feel safer” slowed down my pace. But, bit by bit, the landscape of the farm began to feel like my landscape. Night, its darkness and its peculiar sounds, began to be familiar, too. One summer night, I turned off the porch light when it was time to the the dogs out one last time; and, as they disappeared into private corners of the front lawn, I took in the star encrusted night sky. Spectacular. The following night was quite different: clouds raced across a dimly lit sky, and the moon was shrouded. Still, the sight was spectacular.
Ever night after that, no matter how cold it was or how tired I felt, I’ve made time for the night sky. And, I take my time while walking to and from the barn. It never looks the same, but it’s lovely in every guise…another gift from this blessed place.