Listen to the gentle whirl of the fan on a warm summer night. Feel the wind in your hair, fly away strands tickling your face as they blow around. Feel the soft fabric of your shirt, maybe smile at the doodle on it. Swirl the cool water in your mouth as you take a gulp. Feel it quench your thirst. Take another sip. And another, and another. Let your muscles relax after a long day as you put your feet up, and let the words flow through you.
As I breathe gently, in and out, there is no disturbance. The music pumps steadily in my ears and beyond that there is a passive silence. The cat sits quietly under the porch. The clouds drift, slowly but certainly past a large, round moon. There is a hint of humidity in the air. The world is falling asleep, and morning is a distant myth. Tomorrow is a distant myth and yesterday is a memory. The glass in my hand is smooth and cool, and the glass in my heart lies clear. The fan whirls overhead and all else is still.
Some nights hold a strange kind of magic. If you listen close enough, there are songs brewing in the stillness- tales of the ages, of creatures and happenings no one has ever heard about. The road glitters in the moonlight, and the shadows beneath the trees spell out strange words. The night crickets and the birds speak in hushed voices, ever alert and aware of the least rustle, the least brush of a breeze, the crack of a twig. The night has its own rich scent. It’s a scent that finds it’s own wonders to touch, to hold, to bring to life. It changes you in subtle ways.
You could lie flat on your back on the stiff concrete, and let the scent take you. You could let the moonlight draw its patterns on your face, as the little cotton wool clouds flit back and forth. It takes courage to face the stars. It takes courage to gaze straight on at the little points of light, and wonder honestly what else they may be shining on so indiscriminately. It takes courage to draw your own constellations with a feebly waving index finger held out in front of you as the stiff concrete begins to seep into your muscles. It takes even more courage to turn a forthright gaze upon the black spaces between the stars. It’s overwhelming, sometimes even terrifying to contemplate such a vast emptiness. What am I to consider such an enormity- and even more alarmingly- what is in me that is drawn to it? What is in me that sparks in recognition as I gaze silently at those blank spaces?
There is a deep and ancient magic in such nights. It is not a warrior in some epic battle between good and evil. It is not a ballad sung by broken hearts- in hundreds of languages across the ages, but so quintessentially the same. It is not the movement of the storms and the oceans, or the baying of wild animals, the chase between hunter and prey. It is not the cycles of the moon or the sun. It is not the magic of a story, a beginning, a middle, a climax and an end. It is not the magic of expectations or regrets, guilt or momentary, fleeting excitement. It is not the magic of dreams, whole or broken, or thwarted desire. It is none of these.
It is a deep magic in a place where stories are superfluous. It flows through the little sips of water, and the smoothness of the glass. It flows through the quiet tickling of my hair falling in my eyes as I sit and write. It flows through the soft fabric against my skin, and the nighttime scent, and my gentle breathing. It lives in the rest after a long day, the silence of the earth as it whirls on its axis and the night grows older. It lives in the stillness of my features, real and unburdened by an audience. It lives in the little pieces of perfect strewn around me, if only I would pause long enough to touch them. If only I would pause long enough to gather them to me. If only I would hold them close, and never let go.