My friend, SL, posted an entry in her blog a few weeks ago, about how she loved the night; and devoted a simple, beautiful piece of poetry to the wonders of the night in the aforesaid entry. I have to confess that I agree with her whole-heartedly. Over the weekend, we caught an after-dinner movie at a friend’s place (and baby slept in his comfy bed whilst we lounged in the living room). The movie ended rather late, and we left his place, tired and bleary-eyed, and I quietly looked out of the window, absent-mindedly stroking my little babe as she lay in my arms, fast asleep, and my husband drove us home. I was reminded of her poem as I looked at the endless sky, at turns peaceful and tranquil, but also frightening and unsuspecting.
I found comfort that in the wide expanse of the world above us, that sky, little beacons of twinkling light played catch with the lazy breeze. The stars had come out, yawning and stretching themselves, catching up on the news, perhaps. The moon was waning, and half hidden behind a cloud, casting a gloomy light over the land. It made me think again of the worlds that lay beyond ours. And I was thankful that I was in this world.
Passing houses around our friend’s neighbourhood, I was drawn to the number of houses which were still well lit. As we drove past these houses, I saw all shades of home lighting- fierce bright yellow, soft golden tones, glaring white bursts, gentle silvery shafts. It was 2.45 a.m. Were these people awake? And if so, what were they doing? I tried to imagine all sorts of things- but my imagination came up with very little.
Perhaps there was a girl, sitting on her pink duvet covers, hair in her face, biting her lip in concentration as she strummed the strings of a guitar. Then quickly testing out melodies with her thin reedy voice. Frantically scribbling on sheets of music paper. A songwriter. Or a woman, staring at her computer, eyes rimmed red with tiredness, hypnotized by the moving words on the screen, her fingers flying over the keyboard and possessed with an energy that could only be described as fiery and passionate. A writer. Or perhaps the couple who were preparing for bed, cuddling and hugging each other and finding bliss in the act of love which would bestow upon them a lovely child.
What did I do on those cool breezy nights when I could not sleep, or when I was up studying for exams? I took a walk in the garden. I played soft, calming music on the CD player. I watched comedy DVDs quietly in my bedroom. I smoked out of the window. I drew cloudy bubbles and graphs and charts. I painted my toe nails bright green. I made a bowl of instant noodles and brought them upstairs, slurping the delicious noodles at my study desk. I read my prayer book. I read novels. I doodled my thoughts on a piece of paper. I wrote songs and music. Watched the sun rising in the morn, then only settled into bed, drawing the curtains so that my room was enveloped in serene darkness, then fell asleep.
Oh, yes, like SL, I love the night too. Now, I am sitting here in my study room, typing at the computer while my husband and baby are sleeping the night away, cocooned, nestled in their soft, silky comforters, breathing quietly in the still of the night. A luxury I cannot afford often.
The night is truly lovely. I wish I could stay up and only go to bed at the crack of dawn. Perhaps that was what those people in those brightly-lit homes did. Stay awake and usher in the dawn. I may do that again someday.