As the last glimpses of the sun shine through the steadily thinning clouds I close my eyes and listen, listen as far as I can. I Picture the woods stretching out for miles. I see my tracks snaking through the trees, and I know that there is no human near me. No cars screeching by on the highway, no snowmobiles roaring through the woods. Only silence. I sit with my back against a tree that I doubt any human has ever touched. Looking at the grove of old pines that surround me. The sky is slowly darkening as the sun dips beneath the tree tops. I know that many people are afraid of the dark. But it is what I seek. The thing that I used to have nightmares about, What used to make me sprint back to my house when I was walking back from my barn in the evening. The dark. It closes in around me and makes the tree limbs seem like hands reaching out to me, making every shadow look like it is coming for me. But the monsters can not reach me. They can not reach me because the silence protects me. The silence of the wind, the silence of a distant coyote howl, The silence of the snow, of the winter. There is noise, but it is silent. Calm, and peaceful. I wait, wait for the beauty that I know will come. Then, Slowly it does. The silver mirror rises up to replace the sun. It is less bright, less harsh. It does not demand action or doing, waking or going. Simply looks back at you with a soft ,gentle, and silver glow. Then the stars goin it. Gathering slowly, hesitantly. But as more and more goin, the others become less wary and come out too. Now I am looking at a gathering of light and mystery. They have been waiting all day to shine, and now they have their chance. Reflecting off the snow on the pine bows around me. The night is where I am at peace, the night is my safe place, from being in my nightmares, of being alone and in the dark, to discovering the piece of solitary, of the hidden figures that can only be coaxed out when the harsh, lowed, angy sun takes a dive across the equator, and lets the night shine through.