Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Moon Owl


A few nights ago I could not entice sleep to stay with me, so I wrapped up warmly in my wool cloak and went for a solitary walk through a forest enchanted by moonlight and snow. Each cedar and pine bough was draped with a heavy cloak of glittering white, while the dogwoods and oaks were elegantly bare of leaf, each branch piped with a topping of moon-silvered snow, some bejeweled by icicles.

The path turned and I walked under a canopy of entwined cedar branches, their green darkened to onyx by the night.  Although dark, the snow covered path glowed with a dim light, faintly emerald tinted, as though I were walking on pale sand at the bottom of a green southern sea illuminated by moonlight.

The path takes another turn and I’m at the edge of a small meadow, the snow deep, unmarked, glittering. Looking up, I see the stars twinkling coldly in the vast indifference of the sky. A breeze, moving slowly through the frigid air, takes snow crystals from the trees and scatters scarves of diamond dust across the meadow.

And then, as if it were following the swirling snow scarves, a Great Horned Owl glides silently out of the dark forest. Enthralled, I watch as it sails without a sound across the meadow. Whitened and silvered by moonlight and starlight, it seems to be a winter magic conjured by moon, stars, and snow. Only its shadow, a hard-edged pool of unforgiving darkness, proves that it is real.

Long after the owl has vanished, I stand in awe-struck wonder, caught fast in the crystal enchantment of the night.

It is not until the ice-filled, needle tipped hand of the rising wind caresses my cheek that I step back on to the path and let it lead me around the meadow and down through the moon-dappled, snow-sparkled forest to my cottage. I anticipate with gratitude the comfort of drinking a cup of hot chocolate by a warm hearth. As I open the door and step into the fire-lit coziness of my cottage, I turn back to the night and savor its enchantment for a moment longer.  Then slowly, regretfully, I close the door on the magic night, the stars and the Moon Owl.


  1. I love those moments when we feel enchantment. It's purely magical.

  2. Oh, what a beautiful description! And of course you had a cloak -- so romantic. Much better that a parka.

  3. Me, too, OC! I just wish they came more often.

    Vicki, glad you liked the description. And...actually my cloak is much warmer than my parka. My parka only comes to the top of my thighs, while my cloak, which is wool lined with a triple layer of polar fleece, comes all the way down to my ankles. Romance, shmomance...I'm in it for the warmth.

  4. i have never seen such magical moon light...this is something amezing thanks for sharing


  5. You're welcome, Seema, I'm glad you enjoyed it.


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