It shatters my slumber, the voice through the monitor.

“Gramma. Gramma!”

It’s still dark.

Sigh. Why can’t she pull her own blanket up or reach the pillow from the floor?

I scootch up high and swing legs over and around the cat. I palm the walls, slide heel-toe down narrow carpeted steps, careful not to repeat a fall but unwilling to dazzle myself with light.

I open her door. “What’s wrong?”

“My bunny’s making too much noise jumping around. She woke me up. I tried burying my head under the pillow like this, but it didn’t work.”

I sigh again. “Do you want me to move the cage out of your room?”

“No. It’s fine.”

I scowl at her. “So you woke me up simply to tell me your rabbit woke you up? Go back to sleep.”

She smiles sheepish. “Night, Gramma.”

I count fifteen steps up until feet touch cool wood, turn right, squeeze between bed and fan by the light of the clock. I reach out to feel for the footboard, but once again I bang left hip into its corner. I slip back under the sheet from the top. The husband on my right doesn’t move. The cat on my left doesn’t move. The cat at my feet doesn’t move.

It’s 3 a.m. And I’m wide awake now. So I move.

I scootch, swing, palm, and slide again, pad across the living room into the kitchen, dazzle myself with light.

Now what?

I could fire up the Mac and check out Facebook. I could fold the clothes in the dryer. I could read a book. I could wash the floors. I could pay bills.

I slip toes into black flip-flops and unlock the back door. I shake off the thought of a robber-rapist inside the garage or a rabid coyote around the corner and sit down on the bench, lean back against the redwood table. The moon’s tucked behind a cloud that trails golden rivulets. I see one single star, and I’m intrigued by the shapes of black trees against gray sky. I’ve walked into a charcoal drawing.

The air vibrates with night songs.

Because the darkness holds its own kind of music.

I walk the perimeter of the yard and talk with Him about fears and anxieties and about loved ones and situations. The clouds part and the moon glows bright, and I wonder if I ever wondered at it as a child.

How many wonder moments have I lost in my lifetime?

Back inside, all is still, and I turn on the Mac. I read the words of others who’ve found wonder, who’ve learned to lean into the night, who’ve found music in the dark.

I crack an egg, scoop flour, pour milk, and stir. I stack waffles golden on a china moon and watch the sun burst through the darkness.

I’m dazzled by the light and moved with wonder.

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. ~Isaiah 9:2 (NIV)

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. For those who lived in a land of deep shadows–light! Sunbursts of light! ~Isaiah 9:2 (MSG)

for those who walk in darkness

by Sandra Heska King time to read: 3 min