I felt the canoe as it thrust off the dock into the dark water. The Maine night, velvet-black surrounded us. The water’s slow mercurial wake widened as we approached the middle of Upper Range Pond. We were enveloped by night, the shore now invisible. Above us, light clouds revealed mid-August stars. Cassiopeia and the Big Dipper arced above us.
We stopped paddling and waited. Drifting. Suspended between water and sky. I heard a soft splash off the port bow…and then another off starboard. Then they started. The loons. First a short wavering “tremolo” to one side…and then a pause. Then to the right a bit further away, a haunting “wail”. We were right between them, silent, still, transfixed. We let the haunting cries wash over us until they dissipated and silence returned.
Paddling home we were richer for taking a chance and floating out into the night, while others slept. Until next time, make some memories at midnight. CREATE.