A cloudy day of falling snow, followed by rain and freezing rain, then snow again. At sunset everything is rendered in dusky blues and taupe with flashes of deep red, burgundy and stormy purple. The setting sun is so bright it hurts the eyes. Paintings executed in such light look like photos, and photos captured in the same light look like paintings. One could be almost anywhere, but whoever she is, and wherever she is, she is dancing in liminal light, and she knows it.
What is odd on our winter rambles, pleasing and enchanting too, are the vistas which don't invite a thoughtful glance in other seasons - snow clad fence posts leaning their way across the hill and away into the distance, the enduring cedar of which they are made, its color, weathered texture and dry fragrance. Furrows carved in the nearby fields are as hard as iron under our boots. The dried mulleins, milkweeds and grasses blow to and fro in the wind, and they crackle in their oscillation.
Bare trees along the trail into the deep woods arch over our heads and flash silver as we trudge into the forest with our toboggans to fill wild bird feeders and leave apples for the deer. Sometimes the frozen trees and their dangling icicles ring like bells; at other times, they clatter like cymbals as we go along.
Something wonderful is here and waiting patiently to be known, but whatever that something is, it has yet to reveal itself. I suppose the truth is that I simply don't have the eyes to see it or the wits to comprehend what is right here in front of me and being held out in offering.
I am reading Carl Sagan's published work, and remember something he wrote in his masterpiece series and its companion book, both called Cosmos: “The Cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be. Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us -- there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation, as if a distant memory, of falling from a height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries.”
A new edition of Cosmos will be published in just a few days, and the book is already present in spirit on my library table. In the spring, there will also be a television offering titled Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. The new 13-part series is hosted by celebrated astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, and it is going to be amazing.
What I have standing here on my hill is a sense of wonder and inexpressible joy in the universe, in the sky overhead, the earth under my wandering feet and everything around me. It is bitterly cold and windy, but wonder and joy prevail, and they go right to my heart and lungs, my blood and bones. Everything is real and connected, and it is all absolutely gorgeous. Like WOW.................