Tuesday, December 23, 2008

all is calm, all is bright

I went out for one last walk tonight. Checked on the hens, who were burbling away in their cozy strawfilled nest. It never gets really dark in their house, as my across-alley neighbor has a Very Bright Light, and when the chicken house was built, someone, Sol I think, decided that a bitsy window of plexiglass was needed at the top of the south wall, like a chicken clerestory. So the hens are alright... Then I took her own darling Akita self out for one last walk. There is an amazingly beautiful quality to the snowy light. Here in the city the streetlights make it almost as bright as day, with the reflective quality of the whited ground.
I remember when I lived in the backwoods, that the light on the snow meant that the pathways were visible, even if the only light was starlight, because the pathways were far more white than the under the trees. (interesting how the beautiful and vivid imagery is what stays with me, the patterns of color and light and dark, and the kindness of strangers, from that difficult winter)
The air tonight was quiet and still, and the snowfall had stopped. We walked down the middles of the streets, on the packed snowtracks of todays occasional cars. Again I am reminded of how much open space we really have even here, though it is obscured most of the time by the automotive tyranny that usually commandeers it. But the nightwalk was invigorating rather than sleep inducing. As much as I dislike having my toes and fingers prickly from the cold, and as much as I wish for a cozy fireplace in my drafty house, there is something about winter cold that enlivens me, in the same way that summertime heat is completely enervating. I actually found myself jogging a half block, which so excited the dog that she tried to take off gallivanting across the snowy, still iced-over lawns...

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