In a log cabin in the midst of the dense and towering Watoga State Park forest, the night is black. So black I feel I have faded into it. I imagine the black is similar to the color of a deep-sea abyss or a galactic black hole. I think I can best describe it as thick like being in a vat of melted black crayon except I can breathe - mostly. I realize a truth - there is a night so black I can't see my hand in front of my face. Sorry for the cliché - writers aren't supposed to use those, but it's true nonetheless.
So I am awake. It's 3:00 A.M., and did I mention it is jet-black dark? I can't get back to sleep because all I can think about is how I must put on paper how black this dark is. Then two loud thumps startle me and I lift my feet back into the bed, dive under my covers and pull my boys in close.
I have to mention here that two nights earlier a large black bear shredded the wire caging and plywood top to our outdoor trash cans, then wandered around our cabin, slunk past our front porch where my father sat (until he saw the bear), wandered to the other side of the cabin where he relieved himself of his last meal (which my boys enjoyed seeing the next morning), then headed up a path and back into the forest.