I like to live very close to the sky. Every morning it is blue—a rippling, translucent turquoise blue, like an up-side-down ocean hanging just above my face. Every night it becomes like glass, so I can see through it to the space that is black and wide and full of tiny pinpricks of far-away light, like holes in a stranger's dark cloak. And when I sit on my porch and rock back and forth and keep company with the old moon, to see her familiar, kindly weathered face is a great comfort. It is easy to live alone among the giants, the mountains, and one sees a great many things that are only real at such heights, and cease to exist closer to the ground.

Sometimes, when the days are slow and placid and warm, and the crickets and caddy-dads sing all night long, there comes a rather wonderful phenomenon. Just at dusk, after the sun has slipped below the horizon, a magical hour lingers in the silver twilight. Like stars fallen to earth, little golden lights seem to blink into existence, winking and glittering as they dance 'round and 'round, emerging from thinnest air, impossible and yet real. They are wondrous. Glowing like a hundred miniature lanterns, they float languidly about in the stillness, floating over the lake that is smooth as a platter, reflecting the lights perfectly as a mirror. The earth itself seems to hold its breath now, and the very air shimmers with waves of gold.

This single hour is so very short, yet perfect. It comes only a few days in a row, and then it is gone for the rest of the year. But truly, you have never known joy if you have never known what it is to run and jump in a world filled with golden lights, to hold a tiny, flickering star in the palm of your hand, and see it spread miniature wings and fly away to join the cloud of shimmering creatures overhead. I remember leaving my porch and running among them, joining in the celestial dance they so graciously allow me to be a part of for just a handful of wondrous minutes. There is a certain magic about such an evening—a kind of palpable wonder in that one, endless hour in which times seems to stand still.

They fade away as quickly as they come. They disappear into the night from whence they came. The evening once again becomes still as darkness wraps closely around the world, and the only sound is the crickets still singing and the silence of the mountain sentinels. Later, as the night and I grow old, I always think to myself how wonderful it is, and how I have been blessed to live so close to the sky, so close that even the stars pay me occasional visits. For they are stars, I am certain. What other creature could possibly be so bright?