To the night.
As the day wanes, and the sky gives way to the ever-lurking darkness, the sounds of life retire.
But not quite so.
Under a darkening sky, the stars begin to wink. Off and on, in and out, and the purple tendrils of space creep in between them.
And the earth begins to hum, a strange hum that nobody notices by day.
In the silence of the night, they say.
But the night is never silent.
A small face, from the third floor window, upturned towards the sky. It stretches beyond, forever. Stars upon stars, and when you look away, more stars appear, only to be wiped out when you focus on them. And the more you look, the more she looked, layers of stars appeared, until the sky was alight with them, hundreds of thousands, how had she never seen that many before.
And through the years, when life takes her up in its arms, harassing and tugging and screeching like an unstoppable machine, the night still hums with the sound of the earth. Not heard as often, when sleep embraces her warmly, when she snatches at what little she can, she forgets that the earth hums. Hums with the sound of millions, droning through the dark. And the wide silence of space, above.
The night has sounds, you see. Far away freight trains, spilling their hoarse roars into the atmosphere. A dog barking, yowling over the distance, like a banshee over the hills, distorted by the long shadows of trees and the loud silence of night. A car driving by, the engine obscenely loud. And lights in houses, everybody tucked away, except those who dare venture out in the echoing dead of it all. Breathing, as a whole. Breathing, as one.
Dead, but alive.
Alive, but not living.
And the stars, the same, but different. Through older, wiser eyes. Twinkling that same old story, through thousands of years.
And the sound of the earth humming its hum, uninterrupted by machine life.
The sound of the earth, humming, louder and louder, as the inky blackness of the sky spreads its fingers down to earth.
And the stars wink brighter, one by one.
This, this is the night.
And she is at peace, in the thundering hoarseness of earth, the trains in the distance, the snippets of humanity, the wind rustling through blades of grass, the insects, teeming at her feet. She is at peace, as the world sleeps around her, and the earth keeps on humming.
She is at peace. For now.