Sunset is one of our loveliest times at Maples at the Sonatas. There is so much to savor in this time of transition.
And then comes nighttime, which is downright magical. Darkness settles gently, gradually over the neighborhood, bringing with it an altered perspective. Our homes, our lawns, our streets — everything so familiar that we may not even see it any more — all becomes subtly new, demanding a second look.
It’s a perfect night to go exploring. Though it’s only 9 or so, it feels much later. My neighbors are all indoors, thanks to very cool weather and a Chicago Blackhawks playoff game.
I begin in the most illuminated spot. Our beautiful pool area glows in the night, at least until midnight when its lights go off.
Nighttime slowly takes over as I walk away. Its darkness enfolds me like a black velvet blanket. A most delightful fragrance surrounds me. I can’t name it, but think it must be a potpourri of flowers and shrubs blooming throughout the neighborhood.
The moon and stars, along with an occasional streetlight, cast just enough light to guide my steps along the deserted streets. Every now and then, a soundless plane twinkles high overhead. I head for the edge of the community, to Phase 3, which is as near as we come to a frontier.
As I walk farther out, the night gets louder rather than quieter. I stop to listen to a chorus of frogs belting out an amphibian song in the night. Nostalgia for my childhood on the farm makes me want to capture it to replay later. The best I can do is record a short video with my phone. There is nothing, really, to see, but if you turn up the sound, you can hear the frogs.
I walk the community from one end to the other, letting its utter peace envelop me. Finally, I know it’s time to go home when my thoughts turn from nature to the Blackhawks. I turn toward my porch light and the cats waiting in my sunroom windows. After all, I can explore the nighttime whenever I want just by stepping outside my front door.