At least one day a week, I leave for work deep within the night. As I drive down pitch-black roads, my headlights pierce the darkness. I can’t help but think of the film The Snowman based on the book by the same name by Raymond Briggs. The wordless picture book is lovely, and the film is exquisite. It’s a gorgeous piece of animation, and at one point, the snowman drives a motorcycle in the middle of the night, hurtling through fields and down country lanes. A rabbit and fox appear in the film, startling the snowman. Like the snowman, I am startled by the nocturnal creatures at the edges of the road and in the fields and woods. I pray they won’t rush in front of my tires as I hurtle down the byways like the snowman.
As I drive, I ponder about this January that has been warmer than usual and very, very wet. It’s so different from the winters of my childhood filled with beautiful, deep snow. The cool ground and the warm weather frequently result in fog and mist. With the slightest breeze, the fog and mist sometimes look like spirits floating across the road in front of my headlights. It’s disconcerting in this silent, wee morning hour.
But there is a peacefulness in this darkness. Most of the world is still asleep, and their dreams fill the atmosphere. It’s a pleasure to drive deep within the night and be at peace.