3:00am. Bells pealing, noise! I crawl out of the warm cocoon of blankets to stand outside under the inverted bowl of the night sky. Inky black and pierced by a million brilliant diamonds of light. The wind sweeps down Mount Coochin driving all before it. The dust devils swirl and twirl carrying the tang of gum on the sharp cold edge of the dancing leaves. They rush and roar along the bitumen drowning out the cacophony of the chimes and then they are gone, only the whisper of their passing remains. The chimes are relentless. They click and clack, swinging, swaying in the breeze and then falling silent as one by one I lift them from their lofty perches and silence their tongues. I lay them on the bench and the silence reproaches me. Dull and heavy the air crackles as the next wave descends the mountain. A rustle, a whisper and then a soft caress fans my cheek, followed by the bitter slap of the wind. The moon’s crescent is brightly haloed and the rumble builds to a roar as the wind tumbles down the mountain. The leaves shiver and shake, branches quivering bend beneath its force and it is gone. The new silence is broken as the sleeping truck across the street awakes. I hear the deep-throated grumbling of the truck motor, as the key turns in the ignition rousing it from sleep. The grumble resolves to a purr as the motor rises to wakefulness and two bright orbs of golden light signal its departure from its lair, ready to meet another day. One last glance at the muted chimes I draw my robe closer and head back to my bed, I have stood a good hour captured in the thrall of the night sky and the mountain’s magic. Such beauty lies in nature’s wonder.