An evening errand in the dark, four degrees and a full beam, fairy lights of a horizon and the fan to keep the windscreen clear. The back road - crooked trees and twisted bends - woods, and farms and over hill - towards town, streetlamps and the sea. The mass of the island a black bulk against the dark. Then home.
There are no lights in the woods by our house, at night it is pitch and you can see the stars. Our old home, in a street near the centre of town, was never entirely dark. On a bus route with a train line at the back, light found its way around every blind. But it is black here. Blinding until your eyes adjust, until trees and stone walls shift a shade towards the front. No sound and no light - except the stars. When overcast it is darker still.
I leave lamps on at night, should a wakened child wander from bed. If we leave this place, in the future - towards brighter lights and noise - I shall miss the dark. Which wraps us in sleep, and creeps further now into our waking day - mornings and afternoons cut short, on a brisk march towards the end of the year and the brightest, darkest season of them all... x