I gaze up at Mars and Venus in the dim sky of early dawn, red guardian of the night and bright herald of the coming day, steadfast in their stately dance through the heavens. Far closer to earth, three bats catch my eye as they swoop and circle, sometimes together, sometimes singly, in constant motion, choreography in the air. A fourth joins the dance, their flight like fleeting lines of calligraphy tracing the sky along lines only they can see. Then, suddenly all four vanish, as if at some secret signal. Perhaps the sun, still 20 minutes from rising, has lightened the sky just enough to announce bat bedtime?
Just as I turn to go inside, a single bat streaks from the silhouetted trees to fly in joyous loops and circles, up and down, around and about, seeming for all the world like a preschooler who's escaped his bedroom for one last gleeful playtime before being put to bed. Or perhaps a young teenager daring to stay out past curfew just long enough to see if he can, to see what really happens when day begins and bats must say goodnight. Laughing, I watch his youthful antics as a Wren begins to sing. After just a minute, having tasted the dawn, he, too, vanishes, the sky now the realm of birds. I look up again; Mars and Venus still dance, their movement nearly imperceptible, their course sure through ages past and ages yet to come.