I confess. I love to read in the hot tub after dark. I put my Kindle in a quart-size zip lock bag, lie back, and rest my “Kindle bag” on one of those inflatable bathtub pillows. Not jets, no light. All I want is the sky and the sounds of the night.
I read as the night falls around me.
Precisely at sundown, daylight dims, the gulls are gone and the Canada geese come honking like New York City traffic. First they arrive in pairs.
As dark descends, there are fours and sixes, until finally a great flock circles wide where the creek feeds the harbor. They fly low, continuing to honk.
“Here we are! Make way!” they announce, until finally the entire squad cruises to bed down for the night along the shore line.
Then the barred owl arrives, landing high up in a Douglas fir about seventy-five feet away. I only know he’s there because of his melodious call in the pitch black.
From somewhere around the Judd Creek bridge, I hear a muted response.
Next comes the moon, rising high against the velvet sky. I admire it through the silhouette of the blossoming cherry tree before me.
The tub is just hot enough to warm my weary bones and lull me to the edge of dozing off.
My dog Lily lies nearby on a cushion covered with her much-loved wool saddle blanket. She’s a Golden Retriever/Great Pyrenees mix, so the Pyrenees in her is here to love and protect. She’s never far from my side.
30 minutes later feels like an hour.
“C’mon Lily. Time to go in.”
She is as reluctant as I am.