Last night I finally reached a certain capacity for lying around not doing much. After lounging on the sofa with Ian watching Northern Exposure on my computer, I realized I was ready for at least a little exercise today, instead of being simply a rag doll awaiting stuffing.
"Maybe I'll do some sawing tomorrow," I said to Ian, and he thought that sounded like a fine plan. The land is drying, and the brisk air is perfect for rigorous outside activity.
My body didn't want to wait until today, however, for some movement. Ian and Spackle fell asleep easily (marked by--generously put-- "heavy breathing"), but I lay restless, my mind becoming more alert instead of less so.
It came to me that I might like to be outside, and suddenly I was sitting on the edge of the bed, silently pulling on clothes. I felt for my headlamp, then tiptoed around the bed, through the kitchen, and into the boomerang of Hogan (this U-shaped rental of ours is the opposite of a shotgun shack), where I donned Ian's thick down jacket, and slipped outside.
The night was completely still, and brilliantly lit by the disk of the full moon, high in the sky above me. I decided to walk home, and see what there was to see at midnight.
I heard an owl calling in the woods behind Hogan as I walked down the drive, completely unnecessary headlamp in my pocket. I wandered along in the middle of Deer Harbor Road, heard a fan at a tiny cabin perched over the bay, and turned at the intersection. I briefly investigated another low fan, and running water, under the Kingfish Inn, then strode purposely up Crow Valley Road to 4073.
Warm and fully awake, I picked my way down to our south-side dining room steps and sat, gazing, bathed in the silver-blue glow of the night. I imagined I could see the dim outline of the Olympic Mountains above the darker outline of Shaw across West Sound; it was certainly bright enough for me to discern the red and orange of my fleece pants. At first, the only sound was the rush of the creek in the gully down to the east across Boddington Lane; then I realized I could hear, a quarter sky behind it, the low hum of an overnight jet on the horizon.
I began to feel chilly, and I needed to pee, so I made my way down to the outhouse. Then--using my headlamp to guide me around any remaining standing water--I continued on to Boddington and strode through the tree-filtered moonlight to the shore.
I walked out along the county pier over a low tide, peering down at the uncovered boulders below, edges gleaming silver, and remembered a magical experience from half my life ago.
My friend Melissa and I had been given the day to go into Lamu Town with her host father from Kipungani, where our college group was spending two weeks building a school room during our overseas trip to Kenya. It was after dark when we started back in the dhow along the side of the island. The moon rose, and illuminated the clear water of the channel so completely that we could see fish swimming along the bottom, six or eight feet down. Incidentally, Lamu, a small Swahili island in the Indian Ocean off Kenya, is where we first heard about full moon madness--monthly late-night beach parties excused all sorts of behaviors.
My madness last night was mild and solitary, however, and after a few minutes of marveling at my good fortune, of drinking in the deep sustenance of the silvery sea air, I turned and made my way back to Hogan.
Old deaf Spackle, who had somehow noticed my absence, had gotten up and come to lie next to my side of the bed. I knelt down on the floor and communed with him for several minutes; then got undressed and slid between the sheets.
I don't believe I deserve this idyll--I don't like that word. Why me, and not anyone else?
But I would like to think that I will be worthy of it.
one-fingered on my phone