What happened to my night?
I was taking the Sunday Times down to the recycling bin at the end of the driveway tonight when a sad thought popped into my mind. I'm never outside during the night any longer. Sound silly? Hear me out. During that 2 minute walk across the front lawn to the driveway I heard a cacophany of crickets, the hum of cars on the Merritt, voices across the street, and the croak croak of frogs. Now that I'm old and grown up and responsible I'm just not outside at night.
When I was 10 and 11 my parents would let us play up the street at the Bedard's house on Pinetree Drive. My pal Annette and her older brothers and the Simmers and the Podells and the Eichins and the Beautings and we Rossi girls played kick the can and jail break until I heard my Dad ring the cow bell attached to our house. "Come home!" When I was 16 and 17 the night provided cover for slipping away with boys and kissing and drinking. The dark was our friend. At 21 and 22, out of college, working, free, the night meant rowing out to islands off East Orleans with Meg and our friends for bonfires. At 27 and 28 and 29 night meant late dinners out with Mark.
And now? Night means glorious bed time. The exhaustion of the day is over. A few peaceful moments when I am not writing, not caring for children, not cleaning, doing laundry, cooking, shopping. The day to day chores of life. I'm out briefly, dashing to the car after dinner out to get back home to the babysitter. Closing doors and windows. Locking out the sounds of night. Replacing them with the hum of the AC and the whir of a ceiling fan.
I miss the night. I must get out into the night. Maybe I'll take out the neighbor's recycling next?