Saturday, October 27, 2007

Owl at Night in a Silver Maple

There's no hour of the day or night more ambiguously quiet -- or more lonely, depending on the night -- than 2:30 a.m. I'm restless in my bed when Ted's not here; I pile on quilts, preferring the ancient beautiful one my mother and her friends made decades ago. I buy 400-count sheets and drink decaf green tea before turning in, but still, even with these rituals and totems of peace, I often toss and turn without my mate.

Maybe last night it was the full moon that woke me up. Does the moon seem smaller sometimes now, more imperiled and too easy for humankind to reach? I want to believe there is something we can't overrun.

And in the damp, shiny dark after a day of rain, there was an owl in the silver maples, rare in these parts and miraculous, mournfully who-whooing. Sadness for our brief lovely life overtook me. I got up, pushed open the window as far as I could, hoping to catch even a brief silhouette of the bird, a flutter, a connection in a lonely hour. But all the dark offered was his melancholy call, who-who-who, until 3 a.m. when I fell back into a fitful, moonwashed sleep.

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