Sunday, January 24, 2016

Night visitors

As I lay in my bed the other night, I saw the moonlight glistening on the distant mountains, and found myself transported to another time and place. I remembered the moonlight glistening on the snow outside my window as well as on the distant mountains. I heard, not just the train whistles, but the howls of wolves. I saw colored lights dancing on the horizon, and just outside my window there were visitors. Horses, who still owned themselves, pawing through the snow for what was beneath. Maybe just dry grass, but perhaps a new shoot, promise of the spring to come. 

They came on many nights, though only on moonlit ones. I watched them from my bedroom. Part of me yearned to go out to them. To join them. But, instead, I just watched. Sometimes, my mother would join me at the window. We spoke about how magical the horses looked in the moonlight. Almost as if they were shamanic visions that we shared, rather than real horses. They kept their secrets. We never learned where they spent their days or nights without moonlight. 

The years passed. I grew up and left that home, going off to school and then my career. I now have my own children. They spend too much time indoors, connecting with electronics, rather than the world around them. I, too, spend too much time in the world of humans, rather than of nature.

I have been back to visit my childhood home, but it is not the same. It is no longer on the edge of a town. A city has grown up around it. I doubt the night visitors come anymore. And, mostly, I don't even think of those horses. But, I realize that is my loss and that of my children, to no longer see them. And, to no longer hear the howl of the wolf or the wind rustling through the aspen. So, I feel the need to remember those visitors in the moonlight.

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