I think I always preferred nights to days. And I know that many people do too. But I also know, that the way I enjoy it, is special. Unique. Everyone always says, that the darkness of the night allows us to “be who we really are”, to “be our true selves”, without reluctance, without the need to hide anything, but that’s not it, I think. Not exactly. It’s usually the people who have nothing to hide, that are the ones who claim to can’t wait to “be their true selves” when the night falls.
It’s something about the Moon, I think. The stars are beautiful, don’t get me wrong. The starry sky, as seen from the middle of nowhere, when you can see that milky arm stretching across the horizon, and milions of stars spread throughout the void, that’s special. But all I need to enjoy the night, or maybe to enjoy it to the fullest, is the Moon.
It’s almost magical, in a way: the golden Moon casting blue moonlight. There’s this brook running through the forest not far from where I live. And just as it’s about to leave the woods and enter the open fields, there is an old weeping willow growing at the edge of the solid ground, leaning over the stream, which in the early days of every summer gets more aggressive for a couple of weeks. And when the Moon is out, and it lights up the branches and the leaves of the willow dancing on wind, what appears on the running water is a festival of silver lights. It’s the most mesmerizing, and at the same time refreshing thing I know. Just to watch it happen, every night when the Moon is up and placed right. So small and yet so spectacular. Feels almost wrong to keep this perfect show just for myself.
I think what is so fascinating about nights, especially far away from cities, is the novelty. It’s the same world as always, but it is so different from what we’re used to. We sleep half of our lives. Well, a bit less than that. But we still miss so many everyday, or should I say “everynight” things when we’re asleep. The farmer who owns the land where the weeping willow grows is there every couple of days. He knows this land in and out, every inch of it. And yet he would never think to visit this place at night, because he doesn’t realize how different it is. To him, it’s the same place, the same trees, the same brook. And that would be true as well. But he will never see what I’ve seen, this “normal”, “everynight” thing, that I’m sure happens in many places around the world all the time, but is so different from what we see when the sun is up, that in its beauty it rivals wonders straight out of our imagination. Yes, it’s THAT beautiful.
But maybe it isn’t just about how the Moon changes the perspective, maybe at night we’re different too? Well, of course we are. We have to be. We’re out of our productive, day mode. Whether we want it or not, our brains associate nights with resting, with relax, sleep too, while days are meant to be when we spend our energy. So you see, after dark we percieve things differently. If you’re doing the whole living thing right, I think, at night you don’t see the world as a positive challenge that it is during the day. I feel that way. And you should immediately know if you do as well. At night, things taste differently. The same things are just different. At night you don’t just open your window and look out to see what’s going on outside, like you’re doing during the day. You open that window to smell the world outside, make it a part of your evening. At night, you take a walk not to enjoy the bright and living world around like you do during the day, but to be alone with your thoughts. The same actions with a new purpose, new intention.
The biggest relief in this, is that understanding, or at least assuming you have the understanding of the “true” role and influence of nights on our lives is that they don’t lose their power. And as the life naturally gets more and more demanding as you grow older, you start enjoying those brief moments even more. At least I do.