The Forest after dark

Samain and the Choice Moon

Saturday gratefuls: The Blues Shabbat. Ron and Jamie, the Blues Brothers. Veronica. The oneg. Thanksgiving. The Forest at night. Orion. The Pleiades. Scorpio. The night Sky on Shadow Mountain. The half crescent Choice Moon. Driving at night. Tara helping me get ready for my aliyah on December 1st. The torah blessings. Alan and Adrian. Helen. Evergreen at night. Israel ben Abraham and Sarah. Word to Deed today on prayer. Studying the Parsha. Making a sabbath.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Orion rising

One brief shining: At the service last night Elizabeth announced Veronica and I would sponsor the oneg (after service food and drinks) on December 1st, people turned and smiled, greeted us afterward with genuine joy, reeling us both in closer.


Last night I drove home from the Blues Shabbat, which was wonderful. Back up Brook Forest Drive which becomes Black Mountain Drive. A fat crescent moon hung in the southern Sky, stars twinkled, coming into sight and disappearing among the trees of the Arapaho National Forest.

Two different realms. The daytime Forest and the nighttime Forest. We diurnal animals can navigate the Forest with relative ease during the day. Rocks and Trees, Valleys and Creeks. A trail going up or down. If there’s Snow or Ice, we can plan how we want to approach it. Or, turn back. The colors of the Grass, the Trees, the Granite and Gneiss show up. Green Grass or dead Grass, dusty brown, reddish bark, the gray of Boulders and other Outcroppings of Rock. We can cross the Creek on the fallen Tree, or those hopefully not too slippery Rocks.

At night? Not so much. Our eyes, like all diurnal animals, gather light, but not as efficiently as nocturnal animal eyes. Our body temperature tends to be lower since we have the heat of the day. We sleep at night while the nocturnal animals sleep, or rest, most during the day. Nocturnal animals’ senses of smell and hearing also tend to be more acute that us day lovers.

The Forest at night for a diurnal animal. Not our world. Even when our eyes adjust to the dark we don’t see well. Much more likely to trip, run into something, miss the patch of Ice or deep Snow. Nocturnal Predators have the upper hand over diurnal animals once darkness falls.

As a result, when I drive through the night time Forest, an atavistic fear or at least caution arises as I imagine myself having to make my way through that dark landscape. Vulnerable. Uncertain. Certain species memories arise from the collective unconscious saying beware, there may be monsters. Not difficult to see how folks of say, the Middle Ages, created folk tales and legends around the Black Forest, Sherwood Forest, or even the Big Woods that used to stretch from the East coast to the Midwest.

That’s in part why the Bull Elk I saw in the Rain and at night had such a powerful effect on me. He roamed the night time Forest, had a presence there I could not imagine.