Thursday, September 22, 2005


At about 2:30 am, my most beautiful dog rang the bell to go out.

He was never one to bark or whine to go outside, he would just quietly stand by the door and if no one noticed would often end up piddling there - so when he was still a youngster we trained him to ring a bell hung from the doorknob. We have a bell on the front, back, and bedroom doors. He caught on in about half a day and it’s worked well ever since.

Hearing that bell clang around at 2:30 am is equivalent to fingernails on a chalkboard to my weary head, but I try not to doubt him when he says he has to go. I forced myself up and took him out (on the leash, as he tends to get the notion to gallivant around the yard for a while at the times I most desperately want to return to my warm bed).

He did indeed have to go, and I waited patiently on my end of the 30-foot lead in my cuddle duds and old frayed robe. While he tended to things, I tipped my head back and gazed up at the black suede sky. In the east I noticed Orion in hunting stance – a sure skyward sign of the coming winter. The moon, 4 nights past the full Harvest phase, was still bright enough to bathe the property in a comfortably spooky glow. A thin brushstroke of early morning fog was sliding lazily through the back acre.

The dark sweet country chill ran its fingertips across my skin, like a lover’s touch. The song of crickets, toads, and something that sounds like an organic spacecraft serenaded me, more loudly than I’d noticed upon first shuffling out on the deck. I closed my eyes and breathed in the cool damp night. Smells of dewy earth and cut grass and dying campfires and faint traces of manure from the stables behind our property filled my lungs – filled my heart.

Suddenly I felt wide awake.

Most beautiful dog was ready to return to the business of sleeping, so we went back inside. He snuggled down in, between the Hub and me, and in seconds was snoring softly. I, however, was wide awake – thoughts still out on the deck - dancing, swirling, intertwining like the shimmering stars and embracing scents of the night air.


DBFrank said...

Thanks for stopping by. Ain't nothin' wrong with a Vulcan.. yer ridin' while most don't know the feeling of wind in their faces...
so - ride on! :)

Lori said...

I can picture this perfectly. Thanks for sharing you ever wonderful thoughts! Hugs!

Cheryl said...

Wow... the things I miss as a country girl living in the City. The smells, the crickets, the toads, the snoring dog. I was right there with you.

Bainwen Gilrana said...

This is beautifully descriptive. I love being outdoors at night. I just wish I lived some place with less ambient light; very few times have I had the experience of a "black suede sky." Even when I was away at college in the boonies of West Virginia, the campus was so well-lit at night that the stars seemed dim. The most incredible night sky I've seen was in the middle of the ocean, from the deck of a cruise ship. Middle of the night, sky as black as pitch, and the moon trailing a soft silver light across the water as it set. And oh, the stars! Countless untold numbers of them, and I finally understood how ancient peoples had seen the stars close enough together and brightly enough to name them as constellations. It was one of those moments in which I was simply glad beyond belief to be alive, that I had eyes to see such things.

Bougie Black Boy said...

sorry been incognito. busy with work :(
i'll catch up and add some great comments and update my blog to something ---happier(?)


Tirithien said...

I remember some years ago, when I was at summer camp, the darkest night I had ever seen. This camp was pretty secluded, with the nearest town about 15 miles away, so there were no man-made lights once the camp shut down.

Got up at about 2, and it was so dark and so clear that the sky cried stars. Diamonds on black velvet, little points of light in perfect dark.

Anonymous said...

Now you've gone and made me homesick.

Do you know it's still 100+ here every day? No musty autumn leaves, no decaying campfire embers, no sweet country chill.

But I do have one thing you've got - one singularly perfect little canine companion.

Somehow that just makes it all better, like a kiss from mom on a freshly scraped knee.