One of the things I love about living in Connecticut is never being too far from the middle of nowhere.

Tonight’s a perfect case in point. We (the boys and I) are sequestered inside an adirondack-style lean-to, listening to the spring peepers and a babbling brook. The sky’s crystal clear, which means it’s going to get wicked cold tonight. But it also means that every star imaginable, and even a faint trace of the Milky Way is hanging overhead.

What makes it especially sweet is that we didn’t leave until after Nate’s t-ball practice, and a full day’s work and school. 20 minutes in the car and we were at the trailhead, and an easy mile on two-track and we’re here.

The fire’s burnt low in the ring, and we went for a quick walk in the moonlight from the waxing half moon. I can see why lunacy was blamed on the moon – at this point I want to run around, jumping for joy. Were that my lovely wife were here; we’d have to relocate our tent a little ways down the trail; this is a moon that stirs the passions; the spring moon under which young lovers throw caution to the wind and feel freed from conventions and the restrictions. Life returns after the dark of winter, and it manifests itself in limbs intertwined and lips pressed in the strange, clear, beautiful half-light of the moon. Orion, with it being spring, is either out of the sky, or looking away.

I bring a tent for the kids, ’cause the outdoors is kind of big and scary, and ’cause that way I can read and write while they get the wiggles out. They’ve just got a two-person backyard tent that was a birthday gift. It wouldn’t withstand a gale, and weighs about 8 pounds with only a partial fly, but, with the forest so close, we can cancel in a heartbeat if it looks like rain.

So, that’s where I am tonight. The peepers are peeping – not the wall of sound that they will be in two weeks, but a series of random eruptions of croaks. There’s a pair of crickets moving around the rocks of the fire ring, looking for each other. Spring inspires love in us all.