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  • Writer's pictureIndia Wittmershaus

The Ending of a Night

It is evening. No, the evening has already passed and turned into night. Imagine it: A property in the countryside. An old brick house between smaller buildings, a caravan, a shed. Green vegetation covers the ground. In some places, it clings to the buildings; makes it a part of itself. Nature is spreading, taking back. There are hidden places to sit everywhere and although it seems a bit bewildering, it's incredibly cozy. 

Although you know it's there, you can't really see it. A darkness lies over the place. Not an unpleasant, oppressive darkness. Just the blackness of the night. Can you feel the warmth of the approaching summer? The day was warm and some of that warmth flowed into the night. It has rained. Not long and not hard, but the smell has remained. The smell of summer, of rain, of grass and flowers. Can you taste it? The grounds have become quiet. An hour before, the sound of people singing could be heard. The drunken laughter of young voices. People were drinking, eating, celebrating. But most of them are gone now. They are lying in beds in the house, in the caravan. They are slumbering in a pleasant sleep that only people who have had a long but beautiful day have. 

The lights in the house are switched off. It lies there quietly and insignificant to the world. But behind the shed under a canopy, the soft light of several colorful strings of lights is shining. Music is still playing here. No longer as loud and exciting as it was an hour before. It's quieter now, softer and calmer, but now and again people still sing along. Five people are sitting around a table. Can you see them in front of you? They are laughing and sipping their drinks. A bag of crisps is passed around. Cards change hands. One person throws their hand of cards on the table and laughs. The others shake their heads. They talk, chatter, listen. Around them, the night begins to lose its blackness. Can you see how the outlines of the trees are becoming clearer? How the stars are slowly but steadily fading? The people at the table see it. They are amazed. It was a happy night. A night full of intimacy, friendship, and being together. 

Is it already over? No. Together they walk off. They leave the property, the scene of our observation. They move away from us. They walk, talk, laugh, and enjoy the air, the sounds, the soft light as the night draws to a close. They come to a halt at a bridge. What do they see? 

Can you see it? A small stream lying quietly under the bridge. Colorful lights on the horizon, hidden, framed by trees and fields. A view full of beauty. They savor it. They feel it. And then they continue along the path. It gets brighter. The sun has not yet risen and yet it is bright. A beautiful color gradient becomes visible. Fills the horizon. What colors are they? Do you know? Do you have to name them? They are there. They are beautiful. And that's enough. 

The five people have become quieter. They continue to talk, but they are talking about more serious topics, topics of life, of being. They turn back. They walk back along the path. Can you feel the sunrise approaching? They do. They reach the property and bring chairs to the open lawn in front of the brick house. They sit down in a row, facing west. It is now daylight. Colors play in the sky and the yellow of the sun begins to flash through the trees and grass. The five faces look tired. Tired, but happy. Can you see it? Can you feel it? The end of the night has come. It was a beautiful night, a night full of joy and life. But like every night, it ends and brings with it a new day.

Written by India Wittmershaus.

Cover photo by India Wittmershaus.


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