Night Walk: Part IV


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There is a low howl in the eaves and an increasingly smaller voice in my mind says, “Stay in”. My coat hangs by the door, ready. My boots neatly coupled together below. It is surprising how quickly a habit can take hold. In just a few weeks it is difficult, even in this bitter cold, to skip the evening stroll. I bundle up tight and step out into the low wind. The snow falling feels wet, but in these temperatures I know it is just the quickness with which it melts upon my warmer face. Though snow falls the moon is apparent behind a thin veil of clouds. The walk begins with the wind at my face and I consider just a short-circuit around the block. I come to the northeast trail and there is a man ahead of me. He does not turn, so I am not sure he sees me. He doesn’t have a dog and, at first, I am very impressed that he is out for a stroll, too. This lasts less than a minute before I find myself mildly disturbed by his presence. Yes, I, who only a few posts ago noted how stuffy we have become hole up in our houses at night. Inwardly I charge, “Who is this rogue to enter MY domain?” I laugh at my own contrariness, as I trail along behind him. There is a tree at this point that appears lit by a fire beneath it. The fence is too high and the slats too tight to see how the effect is achieved, but this snow-capped tree with a light flickering up its trunk is beautiful to behold. When I look back down the lane the man is gone, likely through a side gate, unless of course, he is a changeling. In which case, he turned into a wolf and slipped stealthily into the wooded creek bed to the south. I laugh, but keep my eye on the wood.

I am left alone for the rest of the journey and I breathe deep of the solitude. It is done. The night has spun its magic and I will not turn back now for home.

I am aware I am staving off aging on these nightly walks in a way I had not expected. A curious feeling has settled in. The length of the journeys grows and the time in the wood or field lengthens, too. I have yet to cross over to the lake beyond the marsh, but I feel it coming on. No lights are present on that larger patch of land. A hunger for greater levels of darkness, quiet and solitude has settled into my soul in a way that is difficult to describe. The moon has become a balm that settles a restlessness that so often roams the bony rooms of my head. I see the easy path is to remain inside where it is warm and enjoy cocoa while watching the Christmas lights out the dining room window. Yet there is suddenly a somnolence in that image for me; a story of a coming death.

The night is cold and foggy, while at the same time sharp and vivid. It is stark while blinding. Sound has a curious way of moving across a field or between the trees. Nothing moves, while everything moves, as shadows have a life in them. Like the owl and fox, the darkness stirs a wildness in me. A hardiness is seeping into my veins and enlivening my spirit in the most magical way. I find my heart picking up and even when my toes begin to complain of the cold another drift is upon me and I am calf deep in it. At no other time do I feel quite so connected to the life force of the Earth. Something primitive and deep stirs the moment I leave the threshold of my warm cozy den. Something so fresh and clean, I can taste it landing in the flakes upon my tongue.

6 thoughts on “Night Walk: Part IV

  1. Dear Noelle, Thank you so much. I wish I had the words to convey my experience reading this work of yours. Happy New Year and all the best with recording and publishing.

  2. It is I that should thank you, my friend. The blog is in many ways a form of non-attachment for me. I don’t always get all the hits others get or readers, but I have such joy in it that I seem to have lost the ability to care all that much. When I began writing again after several years I promised myself I would write for my own joy and what happened after that was whatever it was. Your note is more of a gift than you can imagine. I have a book out to publishers and have received two denials so far of the eight it was sent to. When I was younger and tried to get published my ego took a major hit with each denial. Now, it is amazing to feel it roll past me like Lucy’s chocolates on the conveyor belt. So I shall take your well wishes and continue my journey of joyful writing. Delighted to have you along for the ride. Peace, beauty and so much laughter you can barely contain it on this New Year’s Eve and throughout the coming year. N

  3. I agree with the previous writer in that your writing of the night walks is special and beautiful, and, and more. Good choice to write for your own joy for then you share it with us! Thank you for the last year of writing and a super new year of more!

    • We are sent by WordPress our statistics for the year. You are listed as my number one contributor. You are my best fan!!! Truly, thanks for all the comments and visits. It has made this so much more fun. The Happiest of New Years!! Give Ted my best, too.

  4. I have been listening to the recent Reggie Ray podcasts on the Vatrayana with great interest on his view that meditating with the body allows full human development and individuation towards an oboriginal like human wildness, from our domestication. Somehow I connect this to your post here. To me it was kinda like seeing how a wild human or spirit animal goes for a night walk.

    • Love Reggie Ray. I think we need to step away from the patterns of life to connect with our deepest energies. In all the noise of regular lives, including even this venue of the internet, it’s hard to really feel the wild pulse. No idea where you live, but if you can take a late night walk, especially now with this moon, do. Will have the most lovely affect on you. I posted a John Krakauer quote in the Being Here Now group on the Insight Timer meditation app from another blogger:

      “You are wrong if you think Joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living.”

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