I walked to the library last night. In the cold. And the dark. Why did I do that? I have no good reason. I had books at home – as well as warmth. And light.
As I approached home, guided by the two lamps at the bottom of the drive, I was drawn to a solitary pool of light far off on the other side of a dark void – the field belonging to that pool of light. The sight of it spilling from the windows such a distance away merely hinted at the shape of a house . It was reminiscent of something seen in the movies. I’m sure that very scene has lent atmosphere to many films.
From that house I often hear the cries of a confused rooster. He tries to wake the neighbourhood at 10 or 11 in the morning. I learned very early on to not rely on him to get me to work on time.
From that house comes the business-like bark of what sounds to be a lab or shepherd – a full-sized, mature dog. He barks to make his opinion known, silent the rest of the time. I picture him at the end of a very long leash, very serious in his job of reprimanding the raccoons and foxes.
From that house comes the farmer who navigates a tractor up and down the tidy rows of his field. At planting and harvesting I hear the steady purr of that engine far into the early hours of the following day.
In summer I see only hints of that house through trees and over crops. Now, in winter when the trees are naked and the fields lie bare, that house stands unprotected against curious eyes.
That house is situated on a little country lane I never travel. I’ve not gone by to look, peering to catch a glimpse of its inhabitants or see if I’m right about the dog. All I know of them is what I imagine, driven by these long-distance clues of sound.
They are dear to me though, these people of my imaginings. Seeing their home last night, softly glowing in the distance, was like catching sight of a friend.