Friday, May 24, 2013

Summer Nights

Last night I was just getting out of the shower when the door to the garage I live in opened. It was my brother, asking, 1. if I'd heard the coyote in the woods below our house, and 2. if I wanted to go try to kill it.

So five minutes later––the five minutes being spent becoming partially clothed, finding a flashlight, and loading shells into a 12 gauge shotgun––I was off marching across the field lit by the moon and the chaotically swinging beams of flashlights held against shotgun stocks in pursuit of an eerie howling sound.

The last few nights have been uncomfortably hot and muggy, and by the time we'd gone down the length of the briar-filled power line that cuts through our woods and ended up in the swamp at the bottom of the hill, I was feeling like I needed another shower. Neosporin, insect repellent, and some bandages would have been nice too––but a shower covers many sins.

We never got the Coyote. I never even saw it, though my brother claims he did for a second in the swamp. It was fun though. There's something about nights this time of year in this part of the world that is fun. Maybe it's just that it's been so cold and so dark for so long that you forget what it's like not to have to be inside at night.

This evening was similar––in spirit if not in form. It was the beginning of the much awaited (by a few people) Glass Fest in Corning, and also the last 2300 party at the Corning Museum of Glass for the year. I'd only started attending them this winter, as it was the first winter in three years I hadn't been in Tennessee or somewhere else. And always, it was dark out when it finished up. This evening though, when the band played their final song and we dropped our glasses at the bar and hurried to the parking lot ahead of the crowd, it was still broad day light.

It's really amazing what a difference that makes in the mind. My mind at least. It seems like today, with everything we have and most of our mental lives taking place on phones or computers or in books that something like warmer temperatures or the brightness of the sun wouldn't change how we feel that much. But somehow it does. And the night didn't end when a month ago it would have.

Maybe this is all just the product of being back in the "north" for the first full year in a long time. I know I haven't felt like this in awhile. But I also seem to remember feeling like it a long time ago, back when here was the only place I'd ever lived. So maybe there's something more to it. And maybe it's an obvious 'duh' thing and it's stupid for me to write a post wondering about it.

But there really is something different about nights in the summer. And I like it.

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