Recent weeks have been wet and dark for the most part, heavy cloud over everything, and scarcely a ray of sunrise or sunset to be be seen, just endless twilight in all directions. When a lake of blue sky appears overhead, there is cause for celebration.
For an hour or so after dawn, lacy scraps of frost remain on fences, leaves and field grasses, but temperatures are mild and the white stuff undergoes a swift transformation when sunlight touches it, condensing and rising into the air like fine silvery smoke. Frost picks out the tracks of rakes and hay wagons across the hill, but not for long. A light mist rises from the nearby Clyde river at every bend in its winding journey, playing over the trees, fields and old stones. Here and there in the mist are the smudged outlines of browsing deer and wild turkeys.
On such days, a pearly gray stillness lies over everything, and the expression wabi sabi describes it as well as anything can be said to do that. There is a kind of tranquil melancholy; a non-attachment beyond all coming and going which honors tathata or suchness, the turning of the seasons and the perfect spontaneous unfolding of the world around us.
Here we are in the middling pages of December, and this year, there has been little or snow so far, just rain, rain, rain. For years, I have stood on this hillside and marveled at how it looks in rain or shine or snow, seen against clouds or a clear blue sky or wrapped in mist. How many images have I have captured here? My old bones are not dancing as they consider the snow coming along next weekend, but the doddering scribe and photographer feels differently. She remembers the sound of snow falling on her favorite hillside, and she rejoices.