Mid-summer came in on a heat wave before several days of the intense heat culminated in a fierce fury of wind and rain punctuated by brilliant and jagged flashes of lighting. Thunder boomed and rolled and crashed in its wake. When the wildness abated, a cool and welcomed stillness descended, and sometime in the far reaches of the night, a thick mist fell over the pond and the fields, melting the boundaries of wood and meadow and road. When the sun rose again, its own margins were obscured so all that was visible was a pulsing silver light. Here and there the fog swirled and eddied, rising like disturbed ghosts.
The familiar had become suddenly mysterious. When I walked out into the morning, it was as though I'd entered a magical place. The tops of the tallest trees were lost in the mist. Shafts of milky sunlight penetrated the undergrowth, highlighting a trunk here, a limb there. Hundreds of spider webs were strung from the meadow grasses. Dew-struck and glistening, they spread to the edges of the field like miniature satellite dishes – spiders tuning to the far reaches of the universe. There was not a breeze to disturb them.
A bright bit of orange caught my eye. An anxious maple leaf, I thought, but then it fluttered, and leaf became bird as a Baltimore Oriole hopped among the tree branches. In like manner a yellow leaf transformed itself into a finch. How quickly the extraordinary becomes ordinary. Suddenly the morning was filled with birdsong and as if on cue, the mist disappeared. Somewhere a dog barked and the air was filled with tiny blue and yellow butterflies flitting in the warmth of an everyday sun.
By noon, the heat was building again. The sun became a molten ball glaring fiercely from a pale blue sky. Nothing stirred save the cicadas, whose insistent buzzing only served to make the day seem hotter. Great thunderheads towered over the edges of the mountains and spread themselves out until the sky looked like an angry bruise. There was no magic now, only a distant, threatening rumble that presaged another storm. A gust of wind brought a hint of cooler air and suddenly the clouds burst, spewing rain. Lightning tore the curtain of darkness again and again and thunder made the windows rattle.
Finally, just before sunset, the storm trailed off to the south. The wind died, the rain ceased, and the sun crept out from behind a remnant of cloud to paint the sky in evening shades of crimson and orange and sky-blue pink. Columns of stealthy mist drifted up from the cooling earth, ghosts of darkness gathering the light until once again the landscape was shrouded in secrecy.
|Thank you Hilary|