Lights in the Night

Lena opened the door and stepped outside. A rush of cold air pressed onto her nose and cheeks. She pulled her knitted hat down over her ears. The night was quiet, and dark. She put her hands in her pockets and walked to the shed. Dad had asked for someone to get an armful of kindling wood for the fireplace. Lena had volunteered.
A faint whistling swish came from a row of fir trees swaying in the breeze across the yard. A screech came from an owl waiting for prey in a nearby field. Lena stopped by the shed door and put her hand on the knob. A yard light mounted on the barn shone through a group of oak trees growing near the shed. The light cast eerie shadows of the branches onto the snow. She wondered why she had volunteered to get the wood. She didn’t know how dark and cold it had become.
She grabbed the wood and shut the door. She looked up at the bluish-black sky. The stars were out, and the moon. The owl screeched once more, this time nearer. A dog barked in the distance. Something rustled behind the shed. She dropped a piece of wood. She breathed hard.
Lena knew she didn’t have to be afraid. The stars looked friendly. The moon was like a big smile, kind of sideways. God made it all. The dark and the light were his.
Lena picked up the piece of wood that she had dropped and walked back to the house. She looked at the stars and moon once more. No, she didn’t have to be afraid. God knew the stars by name. And he knew hers, too.