80 miles of gravel, started late, and headlamp switched on long before expected. Up to this ridge, then down, then a few more miles to home. To save battery I dismount and walk up the last steep part under the ridge without light.
A waning gibbous moon is low, and behind trees, aiding nothing. Darkness overwhelms for only a moment. The slant of the gravel road gradually perceptible as senses adjust to the quiet world. My friend, the night forest.
The fixed stars mirrored by drifts of blue ghost fireflies afloat in the tender air. The night is thickly humid, carrying the scent of unseen flowers. Whippoorwill, owl.
Here we all are: insect, plant, bird, human. The ecstatic living skin of this stone planet.