Sunday, December 09, 2012
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.