White Nights

and Crisp Mornings.  They fair gladden the heart.

It was always going to be a corker today.  We knew it when we saw that moon; looming large, bright.  And it was still there this morning, high in the sky, reflecting the rays from the soon-to-be-seen sun,  Below, deep in the west, flamingo tints rise to meet the grey.  And in the east the crest of the hill holds back the rumours of the coming dawn.

In time the sun reflects back the snow covered ridges and peaks, the deep gullies, over on Arran, stark against the morning skies.  Even the summits are free from cloud on such days.  In the foreground frost-melt drips from the rowan, from ripe red berries, but the leaves are absent now, a sparse carpet on the ground all that remains.

It was one of those nights, the ones when you spend too long, book in hand.  Those necessary nocturnal wanderings were in the half light.  And the various clocks remain a blur, as the glasses rest on the bedside table.  So you might assume the radio could burst into life within a half hour or so.

But you had not taken account of the white nights; of that moon.  And just as the lids close, and the book folds on the fingers, so some happy jingle comes from the box in the corner.  And a day has to be faced three hours short of energising sleep.

And #the man in the moon is smiling, ‘cos he’s in love.  Oh yes, he’s in love with the girl in the world alright, and who can blame him.  She’s probably been out dancing with the moonlit knight.  For the moon, like the one that lit the miles home yesterday, brings out the music in us all; a moonlight serenade to take us home and through the night.

There is always a dark side of the moon, but we never see it.  Or maybe we’re just not looking.  But I like to see the moon in the morning.  And when it is high above a frost-cropped land so much the better.

Girl Urchin wants to look at the moon too, and the stars.  She’s been nagging for the old telescope to be taken outside.  And I’ve been searching for a suitable garden observatory to make the white nights a bit less frozen.  A tent would be great, with a removable top piece, and a little gas heater down below.  But they seem scarce.  There was a good one, from China, a few years back, but no current supplies.  There are clever people who do things with old tents and velcro and scissors and sewing machines.  But not I.

Excuses are few.  I have dark skies, and clear views.  There is no pollution from distant lights, no buildings blocking the pathways to the stars.  But sometimes it’s easier just to curl up under the duvet, with a good book, and Harry or Glenn in the background.  And to watch the moon as the frost crystals the crisp copper of the beech.

Or maybe I just need to get out more.


1 Comment

Filed under Farrago

One response to “White Nights

  1. Love the ‘flamingo tints,’ perfect description. Isn’t there a star gazing place in the Kielder Forest somewhere? You might be able to camp there! I stick my head out of the loft window to commune with the moon. And if it’s very bright when I’m in bed, I have to get up and go and look at it. Through binoculars it’s fab.

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