It is two o’clock in the morning and I just went for a moonlit walk.

Our friends left about thirty minutes ago, after we finished watching Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Man Who Knew Too Much.” Now around every corner I find myself imagining dark-shadowed men in hats and trench coats, haloed by cigarette smoke.

After saying goodnight, Heather and I sat on our kitchen bench and looked out the window. The sky rose above us, blue-black and glassy. We stared into it, as it were the reflecting surface of a lake. Moonlight painted black lines on the pure white canvas of snow. A tree, with trunk and branches, grew across the ground of our back yard, upside down. Some lines stood dark and deep and others were pale and ghostlike – design of dimension and exquisite detail. The rooftops rose up all around, covered in white. Up above, the full moon hung in the sky bright as a diamond.

We wrapped ourselves in bathrobes and Heather draped a blanket over her head. We unlocked the front door and stepped out. The sweet cold of the air filled our lungs. The street lamp cast a golden circle down on the street. Even the harsh orange Getty Mart sign at the end of the avenue seemed to cast a gentler light. All the houses sat in perfect silence.

We were all alone, the only ones awake. The only witnesses to the marvelous sight.

As we tromped down the street, I felt like the children who stepped through the door of a wardrobe and found themselves in a snowy wood, with a lamp post shining right in the middle.

I remembered living in New Hampshire when I was eight, building snow caves in front of our Civil War era home. One night, I grabbed a flashlight and went outside to crawl in the deep hole of snow. The light looked small and pale on the hard-packed walls of the cave. The whole world shrunk and I felt close and safe and protected.