It’s that magic hour when it is no longer day, but yet not quite night. Time is caught between two worlds, unable to go back yet reluctant to move forward. The walk up the road seems to be out of some long-ago fairy tale with dancing lights in the distance. A shower of red maple leaves breaks up this reverie, and soft rustlings in the undergrowth speak of small woodland animals scurrying home.
The trees whisper, cajole, murmur, entreat, lament, entice. Others groan, sigh, and moan like lovers in a Shakespearean drama while the tall eucalyptus creak and grind their frail limbs in the soft wind. I wonder if my own body will sound the same way as I grow older.
Any moment now I expect the unexpected, and as I round the bend a startled doe and I almost run into each other. With reflexes quicker than mine, she bolts into the bamboo thicket with a whoosh. She is small and fine, a delicate creature with velvet eyes, and my little dog looks up at me with a question in his eyes to match the question in my heart.
We start back down the hill, and the gray shades are a little darker now while the evening star is clearly visible against the backdrop of the mountain across the valley. The day has gone, but night has not yet made her entrance. Soon there will be diamonds sparkling on high again, but not just yet. I reach for the sickle moon to hang it round my neck, but in my hand I find a sweet refrain of a song from long ago and far away, “Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket…” and night has at last arrived.