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It will be hard for you to imagine how beautiful it is here, tonight. The bay is like a mill pond, and there’s a cool breeze off the water to compliment the 17 degree temperature. Somewhere, off in the town but I can’t see where, some sort of concert is going on, and it doesn’t even bother me that I don’t care for the music, which is a strange sort of cross between euro-pop, U2, and thrash metal, as best I can tell. I’m just delighted at the way it echoes off the far shore and bounces around the bay, with nothing in the way to impede the sound waves. There are stars out; the ISS went over again, and I tried with all the so-so cameras at my disposal to grab a shot, but I don’t have the required gear. No matter. I’m too old to believe that nothing is real until it’s been mediated by my iPhone. The still water is a mirror that reflects all the lights around the shore, and even the garish luminosity of the Irving station – the ubiquitous gas station of the Maritimes, there’s an Irving every five miles from here to the New Brunswick-Quebec border – seems rather pretty. It glows all night long, but by now, 11 PM, there’s just a single car filling up, and after that there’s probably not much hope of further custom. The odd vehicle goes by, far away but clearly audible, maybe once or twice an hour, but soon that’ll peter out to none at all.

Here, on nights like this, I don’t mind at all being a hopeless insomniac. I don’t want to waste the pristine beauty of a quiet world that seems empty of tiresome people and the clacking of their angry tongues. I can sit out on the deck and just be, taking in the reflected lights, listening as the bay grows quiet for the night, and letting the breeze wash over me. There’s loud music now, but soon it’ll be so still that if a guy threw a rock into the water a mile down the shore, you’d probably hear it – followed by the annoyed quacking of awakened ducks. I doubt I could find this kind of silence in Toronto if I shut myself in a closet at three in the morning. Deprived of stimulus, your ears start to play tricks on you. Some nights I swear I can hear the bright lights over there at the Irving station humming.

Maybe they are.

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