Sunday, October 23, 2011

Soft stillness and the night

I'm feeling nostalgic tonight for some reason.  I have been browsing through my Drafts folder here at Healing Morningto see what snippet might jump out at me to elaborate upon and birth a new blog article.  This one seems to be it.  A stanza from William Shakespeare:

How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank.
Here we will sit, and let the sounds of music
Creep in our ears; soft stillness, and the night
Becomes the touches of sweet harmony.
I ran across this weeks ago, most likely on Facebook.  It brought to mind summer evenings from my childhood, long before the advent of cable television and the internet.  Indeed, at that time, we had three television channels and were lucky if two of them could be received on our antenna way up on the ridge where we lived.  Thus, many evenings during warm months were spent outside in lawn chairs doing this simple thing....talking.  And looking at the stars.

It was such a peaceful thing.  Being with family, visiting, laughing together.  Or just being silent and gazing upward at the expanse of stars.  Some nights we would spread out a blanket to lie on, and it was then that I would imagine that the stars would drop down to touch my face.  We lived far enough out in the country at that time that city lights didn't compete in the night sky and we could see the constellations clearly.  The Big Dipper and the Little Dipper were always easily discernible...and we would attempt to identify other constellations from the Encyclopedia. 

Balmy summer nights, filled with quiet conversation and cicadas humming in the background.  The scent of freshly cut grass, blooming roses and honeysuckle would hang heavy in the moist night air.  If it had been an especially good day, there might be the rare store bought treat of Jiffy Pop popcorn...that miraculous creation that we watched in fascinated delight on the stove top, the shiny aluminum dome poofing up as the popcorn popped inside. 

Those days are long gone, and I remember them fondly.  The Shakespeare snippet above brought the memories to mind, soft and misty, like an old photograph whose edges have been gently worn soft with time.  Ghosting along my mind's eye, hovering there with wraith-like purpose, insistent to not be forgotten. 

"...soft stillness and the night..."  The words bring a slight ache of wistfulness to go back there again, to that back yard in the country on that side of that ridge...and let the stars drop down, once again, to touch my face.
If you enjoyed this post and would like to read more, you can find me at Healing Morning blog.