I took Leia, our seven-month-old Newfoundland puppy, on an evening walk the other day. It was dark outside, but she really needed a walk and anyone who has ever raised a puppy will tell you that if you don’t want your sofa or any random legos eaten, you take that puppy on a walk!
It was actually quite lovely, a moon night, and the half moon that shone down on Leia and I was so bright that it made moonshadows stretch across the snow. Up at Camas there are three different kinds of nights. Moon nights, star nights, and dark nights. They each have their own type of beauty.
Moon nights aren’t really dark. The moon blazes bright lighting the way and making shadows stretch across the ground. These are wonderful nights to go for a walk without a flashlight. There is no need for artificial lighting. The moon provides it all.
Star nights can only occur before the moon rises, after the moon has set, or on the night of a new moon. With the moon out of the picture, the stars are breathtaking in their brilliance. If campers are from the city they are always flabbergasted when they first witness a star night.
Dark nights always make me remember how small we really are. They occur on nights without a moon or stars. Such as during a storm or on evenings of heavy cloud cover. I hardly ever use a flashlight here at camp. It just detracts from the wonder of God’s creation. On dark nights it can be a challenge to walk home in the dark. I have stumbled off the road and found myself in the middle of a bunch of bushes before, it was that dark. Astoundingly dark. So dark that you realize how dependent we are. Upon the stars and the moon, upon the sun in the sky, and upon God, without whom we would always walk in darkness.
Each kind of night has its own charm. Each one reflects our God and His vast works and careful care of us. A night walk might give one a little shiver of unease, but it is worth getting out and seeing the beauty for oneself. A powerful experience and one of the most lovely things about camp.