There is something sacred about Owl Moon Sledding. You need a few things to come together just so. First and most importantly, you need a child of the appropriate age. Corban, at seven, is just such a child. Second, you need a full moon on a clear night. Snow, of course, is important, as is a good sledding hill. A sled or other slick-bottomed device to propel you at breakneck speed down a hill in the dark is the final component. All these ingredients combine to create magic.
Duncan’s Woods is our Owl Moon Sledding spot of choice. A bowl-shaped hill, the moon reflects off the snow with an almost impossible brightness. There is something still and dark and deep about the woods on an Owl Moon night. Sound is muffled, and there is a palpable sense of trespassing, intruding without an invitation. It’s as though the woods has imposed a curfew at dusk, which you’ve dared to break.
All the pieces don’t often come together just right, which is what makes the night so special. Its rarity gives it significance. But where does the magic come from? Do we create it simply by being there? Are we only allowed to witness it, like some visitor who after a few minutes is gently urged on his way? Are we a part of the magic, a catalyst? We inhabit a magical and mysterious realm for an hour or so, until small cold noses drive us back indoors.