Text & Video By: Maria Moore
Usually, as the sun starts to set below the treeline in the distance at Brodie Park South, I end my walk and head home, leaving the park to its nighttime inhabitants. Yesterday evening, Sunday, August 5, 2012, I decided to reverse my usual behavior: I arrived and parked in the small parking at Brodie South at 7:15 p.m., while it was still light, and left the park at 8:15 p.m. with the park in total darkness.
After spending a few minutes chatting with a friend who just happened to drive by, I took off and walked a while on Niles Road, heading downhill towards Bakerville, taking in the sights and the sounds of that quiet country road. Arriving back at the parking lot, I made my way into the park, slipping around the chain across the entrance to discourage driving on the fields.
With the light rapidly failing and the sound of thunder growing closer, I picked up my pace and walked north along the length of the stone wall that separates the park from Niles Road. The meadow area beyond the large spruces appeared smaller than in previous years but the sounds of the wildlife surrounded me as I walked. With each step the thunder grew closer and reverberated across the sky and heading the clear warning signs I decided not to cut through to the woodland side of the meadow, but instead to follow its perimeter back around the other side of the open field. Just as I reached the most southerly point of the park, with it row of pines and spruce trees without their lower limbs, the rain started to fall, harder and harder. Again I picked up my pace and in total darkness I scrambled up the bank to the parking lot and to the safety of my car, there to sit in darkness with my family and watch in awe as the fields and the meadows were lit again and again by the shafts of lighting that pierced the night sky.