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Smooth round pebbles crunch underfoot, glossy and dark; they slip with each step. My hands are pulled deep into my dark hooded sweatshirt in an effort to stave off the cold. Each exhale produces a cloud of warm vapor; each inhale chills. Standing at the mouth of Deception Pass I watch the sun disappear below the horizon. The deepening of the sky follows its journey into the underworld. Yellows bleed into crimsons. Crimsons settle to a royal purple, before plunging into the indigo black darkness of the night sky.

The water silent passing reflects the stars. Galaxies are made and destroyed in the whirling currents. Time stretches in my mind. Moment, is eternity. Closing my eyes my mind reaches out to touch the horizon. I feel my body lengthen, stretching out. I am a thousand feet tall without moving. I am as old as the rocks beneath my feet without aging.  Looking up I feel the sky. A breeze caresses my skin. Opening my eyes, I smile.

The moon is rises behind me. Its sepia light does not permeate the shadow cast by the dark conifers. The walk back is quiet. Salt-encrusted driftwood glitters like the frost of Yuletide morning. I can feel a change in the air as I step in the shadow of the great pines. Damp earth sinks cradling my steps. Moonlight filters through boughs, needles, and leaves. The sharp edges of starlight have been filtered out. This leaves only soft earthly darkness.

Hours from now I will be far from here. Speeding through city lights—looking for the stars in an industrial sky. The orange glow off of low-lying clouds will obscure any trace of the celestial bodies. Wet, black, pavement will twist under tires. I will be further from the quiet, and yet, I know, the wild grows through the cracks in the machines…

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