Just got in from a midnight walk; it was a glorious night, the sort of midnight that we all too rarely get in May... forty-nine degrees, crisp and clear all the way to the stars. I began taking midnight walks almost a year ago, just to enjoy the nights. Hinduism recognizes night not as the absence of day, but as the presence of dark, with its own distinctive qualities... after a year of enjoying midnights, I can see why.
My midnight walks are also a time I can talk to Mom for a few minutes. She left us on December 15, 2000, after several years of the most unrelenting struggle against the rigors of emphysema; at night, though, I feel closer to her, and I enjoy taking a moment to tell her about the events of the day, to discuss memories from childhood, the share joys and sorrows. I don't imagine I'll ever quit talking to her... and I don't imagine I'd ever want to.
Midnight walks are also a great way to reacquaint yourself with the seasons while avoiding the harsh summer heat. Oh, winters are cold enough at midnight, but the winds are usually more still at that time, making the cold less piercing; summers are warm and close and sultry, but the heat seems to have settled in a bit by that time of night, and even the summer humidity seems more subdued. And as I walk past all the darkened houses, I wonder about those behind the doors and windows as they rest from the business of one day and prepare themselves for the unknown day that awaits in a few hours.