11 at night, I’m at the high school, waiting for my daughter to return from a band/amusement park trip. The sun set hours ago, and I grab an extra sweater on the way out. It’s cold, cold enough I’m surprised I don’t see a ghostly cloud of my breath.
I get out of my car and hurry down the steep hill to the soccer field. Away from the lights in the school’s parking lot, the constellations appear, this silent beauty. I walk all the way around the field, to the far end where the woods begin. These fields, one of the most well-used places in Hardwick, are empty. On the rise of land above, I see moving car lights as parents pull in.
If the grass weren’t drenched with cold dew, I’d lie down. I remember being 19-years-old, the first year I lived in Vermont, and hiking in the middle of the night with a friend to a field. Rural Vermont, there were no human lights surrounding us at all. It was November and quite cold, but we were well-dressed and very young, and we lay down in the field and talked and talked.
I could feel the universe’s energy come up through the not-yet-frozen black earth, through the glacial pebble and tangled root, through my vertebrae and flesh, all the way up to the countless stars overhead.