Darkness comes flowing in, nudging light to move on. It is the cycle. They take turns, as it should be.
As I sit on my couch, cushioned by a sheepskin from one of my yearling lambs on the ranch in Oregon, crickets chirp outside the back windows. Frogs croak from the pond in front of the house, and the pair of Great Horned owls talk back and forth beyond the end of the house. The resident coyote pack's yips and yelps follow the prelude of the low howling of the alpha canine. All punctuated by the call of a whippoorwill.
It is the beginning of the night symphony, when predators and prey of the day exit stage and relinquish to those of the night. A water bottle with a small solar panel embedded in the lid sits beside the arm of the couch and the glow of this laptop blinds me to beyond. I don't want to turn on any electric lights to interrupt and spoil the music; I don't wish to disturb their night.
But I feel the cool breeze on my exposed skin, ruffling the hairs on my arm, and I hear the life outside in stereo. I feel surrounded and outside although I am in. Gone are the constant growls of distant lawn tractors; engine noises from the distant road begin to fade and become intermittent. And the animal night sounds lend their chorus to the encroaching cocoon of darkness.
Perhaps I like this time of the day best because of human absence along with their irritating noises. Perhaps it is the peace that settles around all of us here like a warm blanket. And I will sit, listen and enjoy until their night sounds lull me to sleep. Until a shrieking alarm spears my sleep and brain and pushes me out the door to follow the throngs of zombies on autopilot.
A light at the end of the tunnel keeps me going. I know my time here grows shorter. And then I will find other night friends to keep me company. New voices, songs, and choruses: a new symphony awaits us.