Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Like Honey in Her Cup

The north wind brushes snow away from ice on the river, and clouds of displaced snowflakes swirl through the air like confetti.  Light flickers through nearby trees and everything sparkles: river, snowdrifts, whiskery branches and frozen grasses. The scene is uplifting for a crotchety human in January. She longs for light, and the sunshine is a shawl across her shoulders as it comes and goes through the clouds and the mist over the river—it's like honey in her cup.

Reeds fringe the river here and there, their stalwart toes planted in the frozen mud, and their withered stalks swaying in the wind. The spikes outlined against the sky are pleasing when one can actually see them, their artfully curling tops eloquent of something wild and elemental and engaging. So too are the frosted fields, fences and trees on the far shore, the cobalt hues of snow and sky, the diaphanous veil of cold mist hanging over everything.

We call the wetland plants bulrushes or reed mace, cattails, cat-o'-nine-tails or swamp sausages.  We tuck them into floral arrangements, weave them into baskets, pound their rhizomes into flour, make paper out of them, or sometimes (as she was doing this day) just perch on a shoreline and watch them crackle and flutter in the wind. Members of genus typha are always pleasing, but most of all when they are hanging out in the frozen waters of their native place.

There are no caroling birds by the river, and there is silence for the most part, but this week, she remembered the river laughing in its exuberant springtime flowing, last summer's herons motionless in the reeds at sundown.  She smiled, thinking of Vladimir Nabokov's memoir, "Speak Memory". On another day, that might have been a good title for this post written in the icy depths of winter.

The world around her is a manuscript written in wind and light. How on earth is she going to fit sky, wind, landscape and dancing snow into one 5 x 7 image?


Barbara Rogers said...

Words are expansive as well as expressive. You spread out the view, the experience, like heaps of butter on my toast. I am simple in word usage when compared to the artistry of your pen (keyboard). I'm so glad that you take moments like this to share your thoughts as well as the beautiful scene.

Mystic Meandering said...

"The world around her is a manuscript written in wind and light" OMG - what a line! And beautifully portrayed by your 5x7 - as usual :)