This is the perfect spot.
This park, though in the heart of suburbia, was designed to take in the sunset framed over a dogleg in the river. Two majestic oaks, hundreds of years old have been pruned and prodded to create a natural proscenium arch. It sets the stage for an act that is unbeatable this time of year, a summer sunset.
The sunset paints the sky with a shades of red, orange, and yellow. The heat lingering on the earth as the great burning eye descends behind the horizon to abdicate the sky to those lesser lights.
The sunset is gorgeous and yet is not what draws me to this park each month. It is these lesser lights that will soon grace the dome of the heavens that draws me to this place at this time each month.
The light begins to fade first. The streetlights begin to buzz and slowly awaken. The lightening bugs, as if to protest the dying of the light, begin winking their lascivious lights into the night. The night blooming flowers strewn along the fences that line the edge of the park near the river’s edge begin to yawn and stretch their petals.
The colors begin to fade from the sky as the inky darkness rises to claim the night from the iron fist of sol invictus. The sounds of the insects and birds change their tenor. The sweet songbirds that graced the day time skies are snuggled down in their nests. The night birds take wings and their somber coos and hoots fill the void of the night. The crickets chirp as they begin their nightly rounds and the moths flutter to the points of light that create their own tiny globes out of the void.
I sit on my bench. The sounds and sights of the twilight wash over me. The heat of the day is the last to surrender to the night. It clings to every inch of the park like a lost lover that will never see their paramour again. This last caress must be savored and stored away against the despair of lonely nights to come.
A time of transition.
A time of change.
This is why I come to this place at this time each month.
I come to remember that I am not trapped. I am not a slave. Watching the fading of the light and the people wending their way through the park as the night embraces the earth. I hear all the noises that permeate the park. From the lap of the river at the parks edge to the giggle of the teenagers fumbling in the bushes. The scents of the are carried to my on summer’s zephyr breeze. The sweet scent of evening primrose, jasmine, and primrose. The acrid smell of exhaust and rotting trash. All of these crowd my consciousness to let me know that the darkness draws nigh and that I should be afraid.
I shiver as full night takes hold. The lessons that have been beaten into cry out for me to run home and lock myself indoors. The night brings nothing but sorrow and pain. The darkness harbors malicious intent that it wields with frightful abandon.
Four beats in, four beats out.
Mother night wraps her arms about me as full dark claims the land.
The twinkling of stars and the street lamps the only illumination.
The baleful eye of sol’s sister does not grace the vault of the sky this evening.
With her absence, I am free!
The last red haze that tinged my consciousness slides away. The buzz of anger and rage fades away on the sounds of a night hunting bird. The tension in my body slowly drains into the bench and down to the earth’s waiting arms.
They say to cower away from the night, to shun the darkness. The darkness devours your intellect and humanity leaving nothing but a husk. They never change and never risk the darkness to see what life might be like if risks are taken. They call me freak and abomination because I risk the night.
I know the secret though.
Night is not the jailer nor the prison. It is but the vehicle by which this rage is driven. Selene, with her silver chains, enslaves us. Drives the beast to rage.
The secret is to witness this twilight, this time each month. Be washed in the inky blackness of a night with out the moon and drink in the light of the stars. Step out without fear of the night and embrace the silent songs of the stars as they lift up one’s mind out of the pain of the nights too come.
I have taken the risk and been richly reward. This night, this perfect night belongs to me.
Four beats in, four beats out.
I change and their is no pain.
I change and their is no rage.
There is only me and the beast as one.
Tonight I run by the light of the stars alone.
I run and nothing has to die for me to stop.
And for a little while, the stars alone set me free.