The sun pauses at the western door to take a last look at the earth below before retiring for the night. A strong wind shakes a tree, waves its sunlight-filled leaves, and rattles unseen musical chimes. Birds riding on the dancing limbs sing out their store of gossip gathered over the day.

At the bottom of the steep slope below our home, a sparkling stream flows swiftly, churning and tumbling over rocks.  With determined focus, the sun makes her journey across the foot of the hill rising above the stream. The green-faced hill crowned with trees lifts her shining face to the sun and then turns to me as if in question.

I feel like a small child saying goodnight to his mother. Please be back before turn dawn, I whisper. With a smile, the hill retreats with the sun into the gathering darkness, through the western door.

With the promise of stars for nightlights, I go inside, where I await the return of my own beloved to our small home beneath the shining stars.