There are many winter nights when I take the long way home. Get into the car; radio and heater off; stillness and cold my traveling companions. I delay returning for as long as possible, taking detours along familiar roads that are transformed into strange paths by the misty quiet of the night.
Winding through my city on a cold, silent night, there is no one out. It's a comfortable loneliness, knowing that indoors there is life, and out of doors there is me. Inside are the living. Outside I am a silent observer, unseen and unnoticed. A phantom with a heartbeat. Watcher, thinker, drinker of cold and darkness. Taking in the night.
The world looks so different in the darkness of winter. The street lights and stoplights of green, red, yellow, white, blur in the cold air; a fuzzy halo shines around each bulb. A halo rims the moon as well. There is a tale I heard once that says that the number of stars inside the ring around the moon is the number of days it will rain. There are no stars in this night. No stars--only light from man and from moon.
I have no fear of the night. Yes, what the night holds can be frightening. However, it is not the night that one needs to fear, for it is in darkness that one can find peace, serenity, and answers. There is comfort to be found in the stillness. There is comfort in the night.