Tuesday, January 02, 2024

Winter Mornings Are Made of This

I lurch awake before sunrise and make tea, then lean against the counter and wait for early sunlight to make its way through the kitchen window, for the sun's rays to shine through the fence on the eastern perimeter of the garden.

Sometimes there is sunlight on these chill January mornings, but for the most part, there is not. Northern days begin to stretch out languorously at the beginning of a new calendar year, but we will be into February's middling pages before real change can be seen and felt in morning's trajectory through old wooden fences, frosted windows and snow crowned shrubbery.

When it is not cloudy, winter skies are breathtaking before sunrise, deep, inky blue shading to pink and gold and purple near the horizon. It is chilly on the deck, but whatever the temperature, there is a fine, elusive old truth resting in the interstices between earth and sky at dawn, in the dance of light and shadow in the winter landscape.

On woodland rambles, we (Beau and I) trace sharp lines of shadow in the snow with our eyes, measure the changes in their inclination from day to day. The shadows whisper that springtime is on its way, but they also make it clear we have a very long way to go before the greening season puts in an appearance. Until it does turn up, we will look for dancing motes of light in the world, and we will remember that deep within their dreaming roots, all trees hold the light.

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