It is the special kind of night. I feel alone and yet connected with the world around me. Outside my window, the coyotes howl their excitement to the stars, and in my head, I run with them. We race through darkened forests, and above us, owls hunt the midnight air. They soar and dip in the sky, looking for the cowering mice that shelter under the dead foliage left behind by fall. The wind rushes through fields, disturbing the grasses and plants in a symphony of hushed rustling, lifting winged night hunters in updrafts and surrounding four-legged night crawlers in a comforting embrace. All is quiet, and yet the silence is charged and intense–the sound of nature, so soft, the loudest sound I’ve ever heard. It engulfs the earth and trees and life itself, connecting us in the deafening roar of stillness. All is well. In my bed, as the coyotes howl, I am lulled to sleep by the cyclical sound of silence.