Everyone needs time away, time to do his or her own thing, without chores or errands to worry about. That’s what town-time was all about, just getting away from the farm for a few hours and doing…whatever. A truck full of adults (and one teenager) were now headed back to the farm after an evening away.
The truck was quiet. The truck was always quiet. There was something about the drive home after town-time that left Wild Raccoon-ers silent, contemplative, and strangely respectful of one another. Bobbi often found this communal quiet to be eerily similar to the temporary, polite silence often found in a very early morning church service.
The truck pulled off the paved road and started down the dirt path that acted as long, dusty and bumpy driveway for the Wild Raccoon and two neighboring farms. The moon provided enough light to drive without headlights, but the truck followed it’s own artificial path, heedless of the power of nature.
Parking the old tanker of a farm vehicle and cutting the engine, Rick leaned on the steering wheel, nodded to himself and muttered “Home” with noticeable satisfaction. The spell was broken. Everyone tumbled out, started chatting about the evening, said goodbys, offered one another coffee, and generally dissipated across the farm.
It was late. Bobbi knew she needed to get some sleep. The to-do list hanging over her desk was always longer than any reasonable human being could hope to accomplish in a month, much less than a day, but it was there and the sun would be rising soon enough.
Yet, the moon was so bright that it almost blotted out the stars. Breathing deeply and closing her eyes, Bobbi welcomed the feeling of just being there. Opening her eyes, she took in the sky full of stars and breathed, deep, again.
The first time she visited the farm, it had been a night similar to this. Looking up at the sky, she’d seen so many stars, shining brighter than most suburbanites and city-folk knew possible. It was not the first time she’d seen a night sky free from the greedy upstaging of street lights, but it had been a long time. So much light spread across so much space could be both frightening and awe-inspiring.
Now, she relished the sight of the stars whenever the clouds were polite enough to move out of the way. The stars wrapped around the entire farm like a glittering blanket. This drew her back and welcomed her in after every voyage away. This was home.