Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Walking in Starlight

Thursday, July 15, 2010.

Walking in starlight. How many of us have ever walked in starlight? I mean when the only light is starlight. Walked in starlight when the only sound is that of the rushing of water? Oh, this stillness, this brightness and dark. I thought I saw the moon aching to rise but midnight came and that bulge of glimmer at the eastern horizon was unchanged (a faraway ranch light, presumably; later I looked up the time of moonrise, and it had been in the late afternoon). The Milky Way was an arc southeast to northwest. The stars blurred only slightly at the sunset edge to the west—still that strong at eleven o’clock! Otherwise they were pure unfaded velvet-and-spangle curtain to the black edge of the earth. A silver one hung above the southern slope of Porcupine Butte. A golden one rose above the prairie.

And why must the moron neighbor upstream flood his world with a spotlight of at least 200 watts?


Olive Me said...

Yes, starlight, the kind that includes the milky way, and moonlight, the kind you can walk down the road and skinnydip to!

Buckaroo said...

I remember camping in Mexico with Jim Wolfe and Bill Wildhaber, my best friends in high school, and Dr. Edmund C. Jaeger (who discovered the first hibernating bird) when I was 17. We were in Baja California in the amazing cardon forest near San Felipe. Cardon cacti make saguaros look positively puny, reaching heights in excess of 70 feet and weighing up to 25 tons.

One night, in the most brilliant moonlight I have ever experienced, my buddies and I went on a long desert walk. The high-contrast shadows cast by the gigantic many-armed cacti towering over us was, I must say, both peculiar and more than a little disorienting. Imagine Dorothy in the forest where she came upon the Tin Woodman - except the cardones are twice as high as those trees and infinitely weirder.

It wasn't starlight, but moonlight in a garden of succulent monstrosities beats Oz every time.

Great post.