The Magic of Nights

Wednesday July 15, 2009

You can hardly imagine how hot and sun-drenched the desert is at this time of the year; in fact, the heat is so brutal and so relentless it draws the very life out of you. I look upon the sun as a demon during this season. But the nights, oh God, I live for the nights! I willingly accept the heat of the day just for the coolness of the nights. The moment the sun slips behind that final hill, magic descends upon the land and you can almost hear the cry of relief from all of creation as night begins to unfold. The sky, on this moonless night, is ablaze in starlight beauty. The milky way, which is never seen in the city, is a radiant paint stoke across the sky, and as I write this, I am sitting on my porch swing looking out towards the east. From this vantage point I can see for miles into the night and there is almost total darkness except for a few of my neighbor’s distant lights. The desert has an unwritten law that no one will keep outdoor lights and so it takes a special breed of person to live here without the amenities of city life. I hear crickets, the occasional bark of a dog, and the pitched howl of the night runners, coyotes, as they prepare for their nightly hunt. I can also hear the rustling and the jostling of our horses just below where I am sitting as they go about their nightly chores. The sound is music to my ears and want to stay here for hours and not miss a single moment of this magical time, yet I struggle to stay awake; my energy has been robbed from me by the sun and the heat of the day.

Photograph by Malati Marvin 2011

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