When we first were living on the property, I was terrified to walk around at night by myself. None of the eerie sounds were familiar and the un lit pathways were foreign. There is nothing mildly comforting about walking around out in the dark woods when you don’t know what lurking in the shadows that surround you. Now that we have been living here for almost two years, that has all changed. After working 3 twelve hour shifts in a row at the hospital, the best thing in the world is the 350 foot walk from the car to the cabin in the dark, cool night.
I get out of the car and turn out the lights leading to total darkness until my eyes adjust. The skyline is a pale grey that fades upwards to light blue then dark blue to black. One or two stars twinkle high above where the air is the darkest. Everything laid out in front of me glows from the light of the full moon behind me in the sky. It lights my hike up the hill to my family and my home. I hear the gentle rush of the stream behind me in the valley beyond the neighbors houses.
As I head towards the hill, the icy spring drainage flows under my feet through the muddy path we call a driveway. I sink in to the ground in a few places where the mud is soft. The smell of the damp earth clears out all the stale, unwanted smells of the day. I jump over the wide part of the water flow and peer down into the small pond that has formed in the tractor treads. On the way in to work I had noticed a frog in the tiny pool and all the tiny eggs that had been laid. The mass of eggs in their jelly was three times the size of the frog.
The steep part of the hill is also the slippery part. The large rock that prevents the car from getting up our driveway is slimy and slippery with the water that often drains down it. At the top of this hill, the sky begins to open up. I begin to see the clearing where the house is and I walk by the tent we lived in last summer. One more small hill and the rest of the sky opens up. I can see everything here and I turn around to gaze at the moon.
The moon is glows behind the cloud that floats by. It is so bright that the cloud fails to block the light and a bright ring forms around the moon instead. Standing here, watching the moon, feeling the cool, crisp breeze, and hearing stream, the day and all it’s stresses drain right out of my body. A few slow, deep breaths relax every muscle in my body and I am ready to finish my walk to the cabin.
I am close enough now that I can hear the children causing a ruckus through our home. The air here smells like wood burning and I know it will be nice and toasty warm when I come in. You always hope that you aren’t walking into the kids having a bad day, but coming home to this wonderful place is perfect either way.
If I had been told a couple years ago how amazing it would be to hike up a muddy hill in the dark, I never would have believed it for anything. When I get home I feel like I am on vacation and wonder how this amazing view can really be my home? Taking the time to enjoy every little part of the day here is doing wonders for me. Relaxing in the fresh air is the best way to feel healthy, motivated and strong. If only our families were closer, this would be perfect!