There is a moment at dusk when an ethereal veil hangs over the earth, just as the sun is slipping below the horizon. The sky glows and it is difficult to tell what causes the glow - is it leftover light of the sun or the new moon rising? The woodland creatures whisper and the darkness quells them to "hush."
I try to keep my eyes on Chelsea, to make certain that she is performing the task which is the reason for our presence outdoors at this hour, but I cannot help but glimpse about - searching for the glow of the [yellow] eyes that I know are upon me.
The same moment repeats again at dawn. It is not quite light, the woods are alive with twitters, now. There is an excitement in the air as the woods come to life, awakening to a new day. The cracking and popping sounds are more deliberate now as the creatures awaken to greet one another.
These are the wonderful moments that I had forgotten. I camp and hike and canoe and backpack. I am familiar with woodland creatures, listening and watching. What is easy to forget is that it is there - just outside of our door. A few feet beyond the edge of the carport - near to the edge of the woods. Just behind the woodpile, they lurk. And the hour at the end of the day and the beginning of the day are magical ones.
Last night, I stood holding Chelsea's leash and I thought of one of my favorite excerpts from Marilynn Robinson's Housekeeping. I wanted to include the quote, but I seem to have loaned out my copy. The sisters have stayed out too late and decide to build a make shift hut to sleep in. One of the sisters slips out in the middle of the night while the moon is high and she hears the whispers and twitters and the eyes upon her. As I read the passage I thought I, too have experienced this. Usually, during some outdoor adventure. Now, because of my new furry child, I can experience it every day. And it is wonderful.
Remind me that I said that when it is pouring down rain, snowing or icy.