Night is different on Exploits Islands, a resettled community where we spend part of our summer. When there is no electricity (or minimal, at any rate, as some folk have generators) and there are no cars, night becomes a much more viscous phenomenon, with a texture and an energy of its own.
Walking the paths at night on Exploits is completely different from walking in a town or city. Everything is slower there and you can watch the moon rise and see the satellites and meteorites trail across the sky. The velvet-like quality of the darkness makes it far easier to believe the stories of spooks and spirits that are so often told; according to local legend, Exploits is one of the most haunted places in Newfoundland.
The stars are so bright they appear to be a carpet just above your head and the bats flit; sudden shadows against the sky lights.
We don’t have electricity, so much of our night time luminescence is provided by oil lamps (although the kids use flashlights – oil lamps are a little too dangerous to risk in children’s bedrooms!) and occasionally candles.
There is little to no noise, no smog or other air pollution at all and no ambient light from any cities or towns diluting the skies.
It’s a different sort of a night.