Coyote Constellations

I’m in a town small enough that the stars are still clear from Main Street. The moon has been torch-bright for the past week and it has been amazing. It’s finally warm enough that I don’t need long trousers to go waking at night.

I can sit on a bench by a duck pond. I came here with my second grade class to count frogs. The other second grade class came before school to count blue herons. When I was in middle school there was a town-wide motion to restore the little island in the middle of the pond. A tractor had crashed and damaged it, and it had started to sink.

The children of the town united and saved it.

In the winter it freezes solid enough to play hockey.

At night, in the full moon, it’s magic.

It’s beautiful, but more than that…it smells like summer.

The cool air collects at the bases of the trees and in the valleys of the hills. It has the sweetness of the sun and ripening grain and earth. I can call for coyotes, and they call back. Together we talk about our favourite stars.

I don’t know anything about stars. I can find any constellation in any bit of sky. I never really understood why certain dots are the ones that got connected instead of…the rest of the sky.

I don’t think the coyotes mind. They seem perfectly content to sing with me through the echoing amphitheatre of the hills.

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