Light is the great priestess of landscape. Deftly it searches out unnoticed places, corners of fields, the shadow-veils of certain bushes, the angled certainty of stones; it can slink low behind a stone wall turning the spaces between the stones into windows of gold. On a winter's evening it can set a black tree into poignant relief. Unable to penetrate the earth, light knows how to tease suggestions of depth from surface. Where radiance falls, depths gather to the surface as to a window. The persuasions of light bring us frequent mirrors that afford us a glimpse into the mystery that dwells in us. Sometimes in the radiance, forgotten treasure glimmers through 'earthen vessels.' ~John O'Donohue, Beauty: The Invisible Embrace
The snow falls, lofting the ground to the color of winter sky. Today on the darkest night of the year I welcome the snow. White reflects light, brightening my windows. On this late afternoon I can sit in that soft reflection and delay the lighting of the electric lamps. A black crow lights in the maple tree and flies off again, her talons threatening the earth below, shadow in motion. The bud scaled branches of the pear tree point up and up, arrows true. Sunset is coming, this I know, though I haven't seen the sun all day. This is winter solstice, a day to acknowledge the dark, a night to dwell in mystery. This is the day that the world does not end. This is the world, and though the day ends, so will the night. Tomorrow the earth begins another slow slant back toward the sun, a promise that the light will return, that the darkness will not overwhelm us.