Well I have watched this city go to sleep, and now I watch it come back to life. Traffic was nil and human life was hidden away in warm enclosures. The brisk night air became still and lifeless, except for the exhalation of my own breath. I noticed that when the city sleeps, quiet becomes real. The slightest noise travels great distances, as there is nothing to silence it. A cough can be heard as loud as a shout during the daylight hours. If you have never witnessed the rotation of a night into a day, find some time to do so. There are so many new things that occur that just may surprise you.
I hadn’t planned on watching the sun come up. In fact, I tried to find comfort in my bed at some point last night, and only found that all too familiar sense of alertness. So, rather than fight it, I scoped out the seemingly lifeless world around me.
I watched the night sky, as if it were a movie screen. With fairly clear skies, and a seemingly lit ceiling, it was as if an ocean of murky waters prowled above me. This reminds me of a late night fishing endeavour I enjoy in Rockport, Texas. It was close to 2 a.m. and slightly chilly. By chilly, I mean it was around 64 degrees. Hey, it’s Texas, that is considered chilly. Anyway, back on the dock stretched way out into the ocean, I stood and cast my line into the murky waters, lit up only by the floodlight attached to the pier. The light shone about 25 feet out from the pier I stood on, and I watched as large shadows swam around ever so slowly. I can only assume they were sharks, because they just didn’t seem to fit the sillouhette of a dolphin.
The similarities of the two nights exist in the colors found in the ‘oceans’ in both scenes. The match so closely, that if I could paint the picture of the two, you would sparsely be able to tell the difference. The cold night air blends from one memory into the next as well. The lurking shadows are the clouds found in the skies overnight. What a vision of serenity, and so many miss out on this!
It also takes me back to a night when I was 16. A few friends and myself went out to a piece of property in the middle of nowhere. There was a camper on the property that would house us for the night. This was another wintery night, with temperatures around 43 degrees. Now, keep in mind that I was raised a country boy. I did my drinking, we did some fighting, and we did some old fashion armadillo roping. Heh, yeah, I said armadillo roping. We loaded up into the pickup, me in the bed standing up with lasso in hand, and chased an armadillo around the property as I tried to rope him from the back. Let’s say that you’d have better luck catching a football with greased hands! Oh, but back to the camper. We were all ready to pass out, literally. So, we lit our little propane heater, set our cowboy hats off to the side, and started to snore.
It didn’t take long, though, to realize that the heater ran out of fuel, because we woke up half inebriated with chattering teeth. There was no hope of warming up that soda can on wheels, so we loaded up into the truck and made way back towards town. Along the way, we stumbled into a McDonalds, red-eyed and all, hoping to get some breakfast. Luckily for us, the cashier pitied us enough to shell out some change to help feed us. We had very little money on us it turned out! Oh, but watching my frozen breath pour out onto the nights air, reminds me of those crazy wild times. We are lucky we made it out of our youth alive!
The echoes ringing throughout the neighborhood remind me of another time in my childhood. A couple of friends and I went scouring around a creekbed one day. We started off underneath a bridge close to home, but after killing our first moccassin, it was time to head downstream. So, off we went, barefoot, because we didn’t want to get our shoes wet. We planned on walking down this stream as far as we could, without a true plan in mind. Consider that we are probably 13 at this time. We had no clue where this creek went, we just knew that it was cool water on a hot summer day. Bessies Creek (yes, that was the name) held a few fond memories for us. We liked hiding under the bridge and eating snacks and drinking soda. We’d hang out, shout out echoing fun, and listen as the cars passed overhead. Back on track though, we ended up walking down Bessie’s Creek until we couldn’t walk anymore. We had no idea where we were, so we exited the creek, and headed through pasture. Oh, how we missed our shoes.
The pasture was full of stickers, which seemed to jump into our every step. So, we stopped very frequently to pull them out, wincing in pain each time. I don’t know what they are called here, or what they are called in reality, but I’ve always known them as cockle-burs. They are the spikey little balls of poison filled pain that burn like crazy when they stab you. A little tip too, the more purple you see on the spikes, the more the pain is. Anyway, we continued on our painfilled journey for a couple of miles until we finally found the main road again. We were so happy to be away from the stickers, but now we fought hot summer asphalt with bare feet. Do you know that stuff is actually a liquid that won’t come off? It just melts right into your soles. Ah what a day that was. We made it on down the road a ways, before my mother came driving up behind us, mad at the world. Well, not so much the world, but at us. No one knew where we were, or where we had been, until now. This wasn’t going to sit well, for sure.
After a little yelling, and a slight grounding, she drove us back to the bridge over Bessies Creek so we could pick our shoes and socks up. The echoes of that wonderland will always ring through the strands of time. There are so many wonderful things to be noticed at night. If you want peace and quiet, you’ll sure find it. Take the time to stop and pay attention to the new things around you, because it can be fun to link new sights to old memories.
Now, the sun is up, and the hustle and bustle starts all over again. Some are off to work, while others have errands to take care of. Everyone has their own plans for today. Mine are simply to enjoy new things that I can find in the daylight, that I can relate to other amusing aspects of life. What could you find, that is worthy of a smile?