Night in the village

Dusk doesn't last long but it has this palpable quality: the air seems somehow near, and golden. I can't put it into words but it thrills my heart.

Dark also has a nearness I've never felt elsewhere, and a warmth which is more than physical. Tiny fireflies like sparks from a campfire flicker in the sky and in the long grasses lining the path. A chorus of cicadas and crickets, with the occasional frog thrown in, chirp so loudly at times you can hardly hear yourself think.

Cold white light filtered through the Scotts' and Friesens' curtains is the only significant intrusion on the blackness. A small, warm, orange glow comes from unshuttered windows of village houses or bobs along the path, from the flame of a lantern set up in a corner or carried close to the feet of the walker.

The murmur of voices also animates the night: the low rumble of conversation, the more strident tones of an argument, or the comradely laughter of a group.


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