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Tonight, I walked the dog

It is a cloudless and windless night in winter. Stepping out from under the roof, I walk across the asphalt and into the dark.

Crunching across the ice-glazed driveway, it hits me: the moaning roar of the highway that echoes across the quieted, bared suburbs and frozen landscape.

The sound grows louder for a few moments, and washes over me a wave of timidity. I realize that it is the first time today that I am not enclosed by walls; the only solid thing near me is the ground that I stand on.

I look in the opposite direction of it, and both up and down vanish – the immensity of the sky and the distance of the lights that dapple it make the smallness (but not insignificance) of such concepts clear.

My eyes search for the familiar; I find Orion and, surprising myself, recognize the Pleiades. Do they acknowledge me, and name me, too? I’m not sure if I even want them to. It would depend on the nature of their characters, wouldn’t it?

Though they are so far, it still matters to me.