Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Special light

Yesterday afternoon I drove many miles through a rural part of Massachusetts en route to an appointment with a veterinary specialist. My cat was in a carrier beside me, meowing at times to let me know that she did not like traveling by car. I was not happy to have to make this trip, either. An uncomfortable nuisance for both of us, but it turned out to be worthwhile. The cat's health is improving, and I enjoyed beautiful scenery along the way.

A special quality of light played among the trees in the hilly sections where, because of elevation, snow remained on the trees and slopes. Every branch of every tree was outlined in white by a thin layer of recent snow. The woods were dense and deep, thick with trees as far as I could see, yet the overall effect was light and airy, delicate and feathery. The sky was overcast and grey; the time was 3:30 pm in February. I was not expecting such stunning lightness. The woods were beautiful, breathtakingly beautiful.

Lacking time to stop, lacking a camera, I drove through those woods, thinking what words might be used to capture and remember the beauty. Each branch dusted with snow... feathers of green and white... post-card perfect ... dark tree trucks, snow-covered hills, white slopes. The most striking aspect was the special quality of light on and among the snow-covered trees.

I have a fondness for woods and for winter, based on fun memories of childhood play in Danvers. Today as a busy adult, I rarely experience the natural joys of winter woods.

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