An hour ago: Going outside to fetch the newspaper, I glanced up and saw a meteor flash across the sky. The darkness tonight so deep that the trees are barely discernable against the sky, the burning streak outshone the stars, and I was startled into stillness, held fast in the silence as though someone else seeing the star had wished me into stone.
Just after midnight: Standing on the porch, I heard deer hooves coming slowly up the street. A car turned into the block, and I could hear the deer quicken its pace. As the headlights caught it, it froze. The driver slowed and passed the deer, who watched the car cautiously. When the car had passed, I stood quietly and listened. The deer crossed to my side of the street and came up into the flower bed between my house and the neighbor's driveway. I could hear other deer join it, their hooves crunching the dried leaves under the wild plum bushes. After a while, I heard softer footfalls as they crossed my lawn, but I could see only vague, starlit shadows in the moonless night, and could not even be sure how many were there. With their superior night vision, the deer must have seen me standing there, but they passed quietly a few feet from me, and vanished up the street with no acknowledgement of my presence. After they were gone, I was startled by the sudden brush of one of my cats against my leg. She must have been there watching the deer pass, too. I wish I could see the night through her eyes.