Sunday, December 09, 2012

Today


This morning the sky is a pale blue parchment against which the bones of winter trees are etched in ink. The early light makes silhouettes of the chimney tops, and the silent wings of a crow cut through the air like feathered scythes. It is still and cold and quiet. The horizon is one long pink streak and the clouds go from rose to orchid to paler pink as the sun climbs into the sky. I love this reverent hush before sunrise, when nothing is yet stirring, and the light grows gradually brighter until the everyday world is revealed.

I like to rise in the dark and watch the day begin. I sit curled in a chair with a mug of steaming tea at my elbow, my sketching journal in my lap, and let my thoughts wander. Later, I will be so busy I won’t have time to think and so will have this peaceful interlude from which to recreate serenity.

Through the window I watch the sun inch over the horizon, spreading gold in its wake. The frosted bushes glisten and beams of golden light alternate between the tree shadows falling across the lawn. The mat of fallen leaves at woods’ edge glows with every shade of brown in the bright light with here and there a scarlet berry to break the monochrome.

I wrap my robe tight and slip out the door into the chilly air. Overhead a flock of geese flies into the sun. It is so still that I can hear the whisper of their wings. I pick a few seeds from the feeder and hold them in my flat palm. In a few minutes, a chickadee flits across the open yard and lights on my fingers. It snaps up a seed and hops onto a branch of the lilac to eat it. Moments later, two birds and then three, sit on my fingers. Back in the house I sketch my hand and the birds and note that when one is quiet and unhurried, small miracles happen.

The day ends as it begins, with trees inked against pale blue. Overhead the color deepens as the western horizon melts in a blaze of gold. The birds have found a warm place to sleep; the shadows swallow what light is left.

14 comments:

Molly said...

The birds really landed on your hand? Amazing. Such good judges of character!

Brian Miller said...

smiles...what an awesome connection to the world around us...smiles on feeding the bird out of your hand and just a wonderful capture of the world waking...

Brian Miller said...

smiles...what an awesome connection to the world around us...smiles on feeding the bird out of your hand and just a wonderful capture of the world waking...

Anne said...

I am wishing for some of the kind of days you describe. This time of year is so dark and wet out here. Sometimes Jerry and I can catch an hour to walk when the rain has ceased briefly, but often we get up in gloom and walk in rain and more gloom. Things cheer up when the days start getting longer. Soon.

And I wish a bird would land on my hand.

Tabor said...

These beautiful pauses between sunrise and sunset seem so short, don't they? I will have to put peanuts in my hand and see if they come.

Judith said...

You are the Mary Poppins of the blogging world. Sheer magic.

Pauline said...

Molly - the birds tend to come to the feeder on a schedule. If I should be outdoors at a feeding time and stand still with seed in my outstretched hand, chickadees will land on my palm and eat from it :)

Brian - sunrise and sunset are my two favorite times of day

Anne - I am waiting for the change in light. It won't be long now :)

Tabor - write about it if it happens!

J - you make me smile :)

Joanna Jenkins said...

What a glorious day! And the bird feeding from your hand-- Wow. How cool is THAT!

Beautiful writing.

xo jj

Murr Brewster said...

Everything anyone writes about dawn speaks to me, loudly, so that I might wake up. I have been awake early on days off only a few times. It's wonderful. But my talent for sleeping in has made me a late-night person by default. Nothing wonderful happens then. I got up at 4am for thirty years, biking into work, but sitting quietly, with tea? No. Slept in every chance I got. So it's good to get dispatches from the other side of the clock.

Hilary said...

It sounds absolutely magical.. and of course it is. Chickadees are such bold little sweeties. And they know who is worthy of their trust. Thanks for sharing the magic.

J Cosmo Newbery said...

A lovely word picture. Thank you.

Barbara Shallue said...

So beautiful, Pauline. You've reminded me I need to slow down and be still. Thank you!

Pranavam Ravikumar a.k.a. Kochuravi said...

You painted with words :-)

Pauline said...

JJ - it can happen to you if you're patient :)

Murr - glad to help out ;)

Ah HIlary, those wee ones are so cute!

you're welcome, JCN

Barbara - it helps to do that now and then

Pranavam, thanks for your visit and comment