I sat outside as the sky grew dark. My candle flame was amazingly bright, sparking the snow to glitter and casting shadow puppets onto the willows in the circle I had trod thrice round.
I saw the first star, which is so bright, that it is surely a planet; a candle flame burning millions of miles away. Soon, other flames began to burn, each one a marvel of ancient light traveling through distances that boggle my mind. They made me think about the stones in our creek. They, too, are ancient compared to me and my flame. The willows and I sat for a moment and contemplated our short lives while the star light fell and the creek stones stayed still. The birds were murmuring lullabies that tinkled against the low voice of the water. Occasionally, I would hear a sound from the creek that wasn’t rhythmic, but was stealthy, and made me long to see with whom I shared this patch of Earth and Sky.
My toes began to tell me that they were cold, and my nose had long since stopped speaking to me, and was now rather stiff and solemn. I observed that winter air is like a summer lake. There are moments when you feel a warmer spot, but it skips away like a startled fish, leaving you smiling and feeling blessed.
The moonrise came after I had stomped and panted my way back up to the house. What a delicate, yet graceless creature, whispered the birds as they watched me stumble by. The moon entered veiled by creamy clouds as she sailed over the top of the eastern mountain. Her light was bright enough to illuminate the pine boughs at the peak, and yet soft and fuzzy as the rabbits hiding in the shadow of her stare.
The air had turned bitter, seeping through my layers for even the few minutes I was out with the dogs. They are black dogs, and so being, find hiding in the shadows at night a great delight. I called and begged, and finally they relented to my whining by walking me back into the house. I am well-trained, it is said.