Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Longing for Light

I lurch awake before sunrise and make coffee, then wait for the first beam of sunlight to make its way through the southeast facing kitchen window.  Sometimes there is sunlight these mornings, but mostly there is not. Northern days begin to stretch out languorously at the beginning of a new year, but we are into February's middling pages before change can be seen and felt in morning's velvet touch through the frosted panes of our longing.

In January, I find myself longing for light and chasing it whenever I I glimpse it for even a moment: village streets at sunrise, my sleeping garden, sunlight and sparkles dusting trees in the Lanark woods or glistening like sequins in the snow when the clouds roll back. Like Midas Crook in Ali Shaw's The Girl With Glass Feet, I pursue the light through my frozen highland landscape with notebook and lens, falling into crevices now and again, blundering into trees and old stones, occasionally getting stuck in a snowdrift on my snowshoes and flailing (or thrashing) my way free.

There is a fine elusive old truth resting out there in the intangible interstices between earth and sky, light and shadow. On woodland rambles, I trace long blue lines of shadow in the snow with my fingers and measure the difference in their slant from day to day. The shapes whisper that springtime is already on its way, but this morning they are also saying that it is going to be a while.

This morning, there is blue sky beyond my windows, and it shades gloriously to pink and gold and purple near the horizon, but the weather is very cold here (-28 C.), and we have a long long way to go before springtime puts in an appearance. Until it does turn up, I shall look for dancing motes of light in the woodland and within myself, and I shall remember that deep within their dreaming roots, all trees hold the light.


Guy said...

Hi Cate

Another lovely post yes this is the time of year when you get up late on the weekend look out the window and say it is still dark!


Barbara Rogers said...

For 2 days I've seen the sun as it rises, noticing not it's globe of light, but how it strikes and slowly the light streams against things, the trees, the mountains, the sky. Thanks for reminding me how trees hold the light in their roots.

Mystic Meandering said...

I love how you captured the light in the ice covered branches in the tree - magical :) Actually, I think I would love to be able to experience the distinctive differences in seasons as you do there in the North. Here in Southwestern US they all seem to merge together, and our winters are mostly blah brown :)

Barb said...

What a lovely way to write about a cold winter morning. And, the girl with glass feet? That sounds intriguing too!

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

and I am right there with you.
Up watching dawn surface.
A beautiful.
and peaceful time.
A life long habit
I will never stop....

Kiki said...

a magic post! :) Thank You
Here (in France) we have November weather, fog, rain, grey hanging clouds.... how refreshing is your site!