Night

The river is completely dark. A solitary vessel is glowing  like a diamond-studded jewel on the inky black surface. The roar of the helicopters that criss-cross the sky all day is finally gone. The voices of the people who pass by speaking a dozen languages about office affairs by my window in the afternoons and evenings are all silent.

Even the gulls are gone.

A solitary lamp glows on my nightstand providing just enough light to illuminate my keyboard rather insufficiently. When I look outside the window I see circles of light on the concrete right below the street lamps in a straight line all along the river.

There is no one there. Yet I don’t feel alone.

A diffused light illuminates a small patch from a neighbour’s window.

Someone is awake.

I love the night. I love the night in the city.

I love it when a place so full of life and people and dogs and loud voices and music and the light rail bells and the boat horns and the generators grows so quiet.

Yet, I always know that there are people around. They’re not gone.

They’re all going to come back the next day.

I know that there are those who love the night in the midst of nature. They love the looming dark shapes of the mountains or the clear starry skies in quiet meadows in the middle of the night.

I used to live in one such place close to the Sierras surrounded by meadows and gardens and trees. They even had a light ordinance there so people could watch the stars on clear days.

But the dark shapes of the trees and the openness of the meadows on moonless nights made me feel strange, as though someone was watching me.

I like nature but I guess I’m not a nature person especially at night.

When everything is quiet and all mundane work is done I treasure the night.

I feel like there’s still a slice of the day left which I managed to save up. Time seems more concentrated, feelings seem heightened, ideas flow more freely for me at night.

Some people tell me the same happens to them at dawn. But the few dawns I’ve seen in my life have not worked for me. The rosy hue at dawn makes me think of it as  a sickly pallor that falls over the pure darkness of the night at daybreak. There is no peace of mind for me at dawn. The imminent day intrudes over the early hours taking away the isolated mental state so necessary for nurturing thought.

I never got the beauty of dawn much. But when we had to read “She walks in beauty like the night . . . ” in school, I completely knew what kind of beauty the poet was trying to picture for us.

Yet, night has not always been about peace and quiet and ideas.

Night has also been about not doing what you are supposed to do–sleep. It’s been about breaking rules, about not conforming, about not doing the expected. It’s been about a 2 am impulsive walk to a diner at night in college days throwing plans to the wind. Or driving to see the alligators under a clear sky at night. Or frying an omlette with a roommate at 3 am under the disapproving gaze of a rule abiding third roommate. Or about exchanging emails with an equally night-owlish professor at 1 am. It’s been about staying up nights with cups of tea with friends, just talking.

If I were a flower, I’d bloom at night.

The night. It’s certainly my time.

©bottledworder, 2013. https://bottledworder.wordpress.com
Share to show you care but with attribution only for non-commercial purposes. No derivative works.

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24 thoughts on “Night”

  1. I’ve been enjoying your series of posts to improve blogging (and passing them along), but I really like your personal posts as well. I also love the night, and the time leading up to it

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  2. I just loved this post! It described my feeling on being an Night Owl oh so perfectly! The night has always been my best time to shine, write, come alive, form ideas and relax. It’s after midnight for me now and while everyone around me is sleeping snug in their beds I am up and my creative juices are most certainly flowing. Thanks for sharing.

    ~ O

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  3. Ahhhh – “the city that never sleeps” -it’s so alive with real people who don’t retire at 9 pm!! Regarding the bending the rules – at night… I remember getting my best studying for school, creativity, fun with friends… late into the night… Quiet….(the only thing is the exhaustion and foggy feeling the next morning…)

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  4. This post was lovely. I loved the pictures you painted with your words: the dark river, the glow of the solitary nap.
    I am a morning person. I love the quiet of the early morning when it seems like I’m the only person awake. I love sunrises. I think they are full of all the hope and promise of a new day.

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  5. Amazing piece! You painted a very vivid picture and reading this i felt as if I was sucked right into your mind. I love the night as well. Just the other week i was looking at my birth certificate and saw I was born early AM. I was applauded because the saying always went if you were born at night then you were a natural night lover. I hate mornings. Though growing up I’ve learned I can find comfort in a certain time in mornings( having to go outside for errands. school. work etc) 830 am is my time. Just past the rush over but yet still to early for the retirees or off work people and way before the lunch rush. A nice little slice of peacefulness that i usually only find at night.

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  6. I think I’d suffocate in a city, with all those people around and so little nature to breathe in. But that’s what I find so interesting about this; I love being able to hear the perspective of someone whose preference is so different from mine. Besides which, this was simply lovely.

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  7. I related to this a lot (especially night as a time to do what you’re not supposed to, or might not do by day…and definitely not sleep). I work best at night, play best at night…and when I’m in New York and can stay in a hotel whose windows open, I crack them and sleep best 🙂

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  8. An exceptional piece. And although I am a child of the dawn, your interpretation of the night touched at the times when I could stay up and watch the stars. But for me, it will always be the first dusting of light across the horizon.

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