Uncle Hyena (unclehyena) wrote,
Uncle Hyena

Starlight and Cloud Cover

Before we get into the main event, some minor news: We saw "Legend of Zorro" on Saturday, and it was exactly what we expected. Again, it was a sequel that met expectations but didn't exceed them. Since we loved the first movie, this was good. After the movie we went down to my brother Pete's house for a belated 75th birthday party for my mother, and subsequent preliminary division of the spoils against my parent's impending move.

They have been in that house since 1962; my dad designed the place, and did the general contracting. My mother is undiagnosed, but one way or another is losing her mental faculties, and my dad decided it was time to clear out while both of them were mostly functional. They made connections with a retirement community, and put the house up for sale; my dad thought it would not move until the spring, particularly since he had not yet begun to make a few necessary changes, like installing central air conditioning. The house sold in a week, and now everything is rolling along faster than anyone likes.

Anyway, on to the creative stuff...

My Samhain celebrations consisted of pretty much nothing, as they usually do; the old TEM Equation (Time, Energy, and Money) had again come up with a negative sum. Except... I found myself getting ready to shut down for the night a bit before 2:00 AM, and decided I really needed to take a walk on the Night Between the Years. It was cool, and the air was overloaded with water; the sky was slightly overcast, and the new moon was due the following evening. The air reached into my joints and produced a dull ache that sharpened just the least bit with every step; it made me feel alive, but also old...

I walked north and west, to get away from both the street lights and the overhanging trees; I love my oaks, but I wanted to see the sky. I ended up on the bicycle path that leads through some adjacent undeveloped areas. There were stars visible, but few; occasionally I could see a few dozen, a few times I could see only three or four. I could never quite get away from the sounds of traffic, amplified as they were by the wet pavements and the soggy air, and I could never quite get out of the line of sight of at least one street light, but still...

For the fist time in a long time, I was out on the Night Between the Years in a situation to really think about what that meant. Street lights and occasional autos notwithstanding, it was not hard to find a place in my mind where I could believe that the night between the year just ended and the one soon to begin was also and at once the night between every pair of consecutive years, and that the walls between the worlds were down.

I met one other pedestrian on my way home, walking purposefully and cheerfully down the middle of the street; I greeted him, and he responded, and then I was home. I sat down on the porch bench and closed my eyes, feeling the night until the cold crept further into my bones than I was willing to put up with, then went into the house and went to bed. And of course, I woke up to a new year.

Uncle Hyena
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