If we are lucky enough we each have our own private Narnia, our own distinct lantern rendered invisible to others, hovering at the periphery of our minds. As we travel it is waiting to provide the dash of missing depth to our surroundings. Sometimes those of us who see our lanterns with greater frequency forget that many people are simply trying to get down the path and have no interest in such things. Perhaps it is an old refrain to you now, hearing me repeat it so often, but the world is a much different place at 4 in the morning and magic seems to lurk nearby with an intangible presence.
During my entire walk, the only light was the one gracing the distant parking lot.
The new trail I chose this morning didn’t need a visitor’s tally. There was no doubt that I was the first person to tread the cooled path this morning. A 1,000 arachnid Finish Lines graced my steps, each one a dark surprise in the wee morning hours. I felt like I had sprinted through a gauntlet of cotton candy after 15 minutes. I could only imagine how many spiders were measuring my neck and back with their spindly legs.
Even though it was barely 4 a.m. I could hear a high melody far off to my right. Having seen “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” I of course immediately deduced that I too would be found in the breaking morning light, nothing except empty and discarded clothing as evidence of my disappearance. Unlike Pete, though, I wasn’t prepared to satisfy my curiosity if becoming a toad were involved. I do wish I had known the origin of the music this morning. Anyone listening to such music at such an hour would have to be either a very interesting person or a very frightening one, a Schrödinger’s surprise for psychopaths.
I encountered no one on the trail. It’s possible though that a hundred unseen people were standing near the trail, watching me as I passed. The clouds granted darker cover to the night and the trail I walked was canopied above me for much of the distance. An owl hooted nearby and startled me more than I would care to admit. I had headphones, but wasn’t using them, both because of the delicious coolness of the night air, but also because the insects apparently had seen the movie “Spinal Tap,” and had voted to turn up the chirping to “11” on nature’s dial. Even now, sitting here in front of this modern electronic window to the world, I can hear only the box fan we use to help us sleep the quiet sleep of death and the wall of insects outside.
When I returned to my car, I stopped and admired the statue of General Covfefe, who valiantly fought so many years ago to ensure that locals could endlessly argue about the vestiges of racism.