The forest was full of sound. I used to think it was quiet at night, but I learned it wasn’t when I moved out of the city. I thought of the dark, silent, forbidding forest, full of all the scary things that go bump in the night. I decided fairly soon after moving out of the city that I needed to deal with my fear, so a friend and I walked a fire trail into the woods, found a clearing, and just sat and listened. It isn’t as dark as I had thought. Once my eyes adjusted, I could see pretty well. We both got jumpy a few times when we heard weird noises, but we got over it. The forest at night is a very busy place.
We went out again last night. It has become a regular break for us. About once a month when the weather is nice, we’ll go sit among the trees at night and listen to the life around us. It’s a good way to calm down if the rest of life has gotten too hectic. Tonight was special; the moon was full and the whippoorwills were out.
Whippoorwills are fascinating. They lay their eggs so they will hatch before the full moon. The chicks are ready to leave the nest twenty days after hatching, so they grow fast and eat a lot. The parents use the light of the full moon as a way to get more time hunting for food for their chicks. Our timing was good; tonight was the night.
It’s loud. It’s much louder than I expected the first time we came across this. The birds’ wings are audible, and their calls, which they are named after, get almost deafening at times when so many are calling at once. We sit very still and feel the wind from their wings around our heads. It’s slightly unnerving but also incredible. We can see their silhouettes in the moonlight, darting through the night, capturing insects and taking them back to the nests.
It’s a full moon. Nothing amazing, nothing freaky, just life moving around us. Birds, insects, little creatures, all doing their thing, and we’re lucky enough to sit in the middle of it, silent, letting it all wash over us. Life is good.
I gave Kurt this prompt: You lost, but you are happier than you’ve ever been before.