The sun was just starting to set as I drove home from the first meeting at my new Toastmasters club. I drove slowly, partly because I’m not entirely familiar yet with the winding roads, and partly because it was the time of day when deer often dart out into the street. We’ve already seen plenty of them, including – along the side of the road – some that didn’t quite make it across safely.

When I got home, my husband was sitting out back on the deck, listening to a soft rock station and gazing out at the lake. I poured a glass of wine and joined him, singing along to Neil Diamond, Gordon Lightfoot, and Air Supply – the songs that make us say, “Wow. I haven’t heard that one in ages.” And yet, we know every word.

There wasn’t a trace of wind, and the tall pine trees formed a still and beautiful silhouette against the night sky. As it grew darker and darker, more and more stars appeared above us, and I thought about how exciting it would be the next time a meteor shower passed through the neighborhood.

“Is that the moon?!” I asked as a bright light suddenly appeared through the trees. It was so low and perfectly round that I thought, at first, that a neighbor across the cove had turned on a dock light. But as it rose and grew even bigger, we could see more clearly that it was, indeed, a full moon that had come out to join us. We kept it company until it was high up in the sky, when we decided it was finally time to call it a night and go back inside.

It felt good, doing something we haven’t done in a long, long time. Something that more of us should do more often – just sit outside and enjoy our surroundings. There’s something magical and therapeutic about night sounds, night air, and night lights – especially when the light is coming only from the moon and stars. But any time spent outdoors, night or day, gives us a much needed taste of nature and the world around us.

If this is something you haven’t done in a while, I hope you’ll take the time sometime soon to step outside, breathe deeply, and simply enjoy.

April 14, 2017
©Betty Liedtke, 2017

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