Here is heaven. Here, the lights of the city glow only dimly from behind the forested mountains. Here, you can still hear whippoorwills calling through the trees. Owls wheel and dive on their journeys. Lightning bugs blink like a thousand stars in the fields. The smell in the air is of dirt and grass and the creek.
Coyotes yammer in the valley, while far, far up on the ridge a bobcat lets out a yowl. The dogs respond to all this; their barking and howling is a nightly symphony that bothers no one. Down at the creek, a raccoon ambles along, clever paws clinging to the uneven rocks. Possums sneak up to the houses, stealing away a bite or two of food left out for the cats.
The cats themselves tread lightly along, eyes a-glow in the dark. During the day, they lie around on the porch, sunning themselves, partaking of the food that is their due. But at night, they are primitive once more, hunters like the others. Rabbits scatter before them, and deer eye them curiously before loping away.
Wind moves through the trees, the rustling a chorus, the windchimes on the houses a counterpoint. But night is done soon. Slowly, while other places already bask in the light, the sun peeks over the tops of the mountains, letting a single ray of light shine down. The coyotes retreat to the dark places; deer finish their meals and slip back into the forest. The owls and whippoorwills go silent, preparing for rest, and the fireflies cease their light show. The cats return to their houses, to lie on the porches with looks of innocence, waiting for their pets to rise and prepare for another morning in the country.
A/N: Written while listening to Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland.