I wander slowly through the gloaming. Grass wettened with fresh dew brushes against my bare leg as a cloud of pale moths rise from the dampened stems. The atmosphere lies heavy, the air denser around the meadow than it is at my height: mist gathering from the ground.
This is the time that I love to be outside. When the air is still, and slow steps keep the midgies at bay. The worst thing to now do would be to pause for longer than a few seconds, but the deepening gloom pulls me on. Sounds are muffled: I can hear my breath, but there's nothing more outside of me: the wind is stilled, the birds are courried down; the night creatures make no sound.
Across my path there's an unfamiliar silhouette. A hunter of the night that's paused, one leg raised readied for the next footstep. I kneel down to look closer and the gloom shimmers around me, pulling me further into its depths. The newt stays still, relying on its camouflage to hold me back, and I can't help but breathe out a quiet hello. He lingers, stilled, and I absorb the knowledge of his low slung body, assigning his presence to my memory.
The moon shimmers through the clouds, a halo created by the brightness reflecting off the clouds. The light is dimmed, no shadows are cast by its pale light, and indeed the gloaming has turned to darkness as I wander slowly through the land. White roses shine brighter than the moon, their scent heavy in the air, enticing in pollinators and me. I lean over and give a giant sniff to inhale more of the intoxicating scent. The air swirls as I walk past, furls reminiscent of ferns and pea shoots trail in my midst.
From the top of the garden I can see the hills on the other side of the glen. Clouds have become trapped in their dips and hollows, they too shine brighter than the moon - the light in these seems to come from within, there's no blemish, nothing unpure. They'll linger here until the morning when the sun will either burn them off or they'll be absorbed into other clouds that gather.
But that's to come. Now, it's time for bed and so I retrace my footsteps and return towards the house. It's a short walk to shut the hens in at night but every night I breathe deeply as I walk through this scene or similar. Before going in, I walk around my house, stand in the front garden, take several deep breaths and whisper a good night to the world.
I take note, place a marker in my memory and set this night in stone - to come back to on nights that aren't so heavenly, to give me peace, and to remember my home.