Gradient

Why get up at 5.30am even though you’re working from home and can sleep until 7am?

Because you can freeze to death at a brightening twilight beach.

DSC_0059

DSC_0068_01

Because you gradually realize that the dots out there aren’t clumps of grass, but geese.

DSC_0128_02

DSC_0155.JPG

Because of honking swans in the thin veils of mist.

DSC_0101_04

DSC_0113.JPG

Because the sky turns pink.

DSC_0204

DSC_0180_02

DSC_0214_01

The perfect winter’s day

dsc_0093

Finally. I’ve tried to keep my chin up, but we’ve really not had much of that winter wonderland-y stuff this year. I remember my childhood, when the first snow came in October. By the first of Advent, the woods had fallen that special kind of silent that is only possible when there’s a thick layer of snow over everything. So far, we haven’t had that, but only frosty mornings and slippery ice on the roads. I’ve hardly dared venture into the woods at all for fear of falling and breaking my neck.

dsc_0047

But today I got my fill of wonderland. I walked the same path I walked this summer, when the dewy grass swished against my calves and the sun didn’t set until half past eleven. The only thing that reminded me I was on the same planet as back then was the sky. It was pink and golden, just like it was six months ago. But what it shone down on was very different.

059

In July it was all misty forest and leaves and flowers. Now it was the same forest, but with all the branches weighed down by snow.

dsc_0032

dsc_0143

dsc_0105

dsc_0110

Crunching along in the tracks left behind by a skier with his dog, I felt alive again after a week or so of being completely wrung out, dish rag style. I believe they call it the postdoc blues…

dsc_0066_01

I didn’t realize how much I needed it until I got it. It’s such a big part of Christmas, of the big wheel that turns through the seasons: this period of rest, of sleeping seeds and muffled quiet, that reminds you why it’s called ‘the dead of winter’.

dsc_0193

Perhaps some wind in the trees, or the crunch of your own boots in the snow, but other than that – nothing. As if the world is waiting to be born again.

Which I guess it is.

Shower the world…

dsc_0177

There’s a Tori Amos song that tells us to shower the world in pink and glitter, and that’s exactly what the weather gods are doing here. Every day is like a study in pink. The sun just barely makes it over the horizon for a short time between ten and two, but the reward is that every hour is golden.

sunrise

sunrise2

dsc_0162

dsc_0191

Frozen beard lichen hangs from every pine tree bough. The rising sun filters through the needles.

dsc_0347

dsc_0335

dsc_0315

It’s just cold enough to freeze the droplets but not enough to melt them. Absolutely wonderful. Some of them look like Christmas tree decorations where they hang in the fir branches. I went a little crazy with the camera when I saw it, so bear with me… 🙂

dsc_0282

dsc_0284

dsc_0289

dsc_0288

dsc_0278

dsc_0278_02

But I must admit I was glad that there was a kettle to switch on when I got home, because the cold tends to creep into your very marrow. It’s beautiful but not harmless, you know? And maybe that’s part of the charm: a terrible beauty that you must watch from a distance in order not to get hurt. Look but don’t touch. 🙂

dsc_0383

dsc_0424

dsc_0364

dsc_0147