“I love the winter landscape when the eye of God seems to be everywhere, and snow is a white backdrop for the dark forms of trees. I see things I never notice in the summer … fallen trees, leaning trees, trees growing up tall and straight. The tension in the patterns. When there is no snow, we see only gray on gray, brown on brown, black on black. The smallest details fade, melt into the background. Today would be a perfect day to go for a walk in the woods, to pay special attention to the visual structures the snow provides.”
While I love bold colors and the warm seasons, when the garden is filled with flowers over a lengthy span of months, I also love the contrast of winter. It is when there is snow on the ground and the trees are bare, that I become aware of black, white, and the multitude of grays in between. I consider the composition of the landscape that I miss during the other seasons when it is hidden by foliage.
At no other time of year is the structure of the natural world so observable. Just a few days ago, when the sky was an ashen gray and rain splattered through the gutters along the roof’s edge, I examined the silhouette of a trees dark branches against the colorless sky. From my window, I marveled at the way the limbs spread out into empty space. I was reminded of blood vessels in the human body or the bronchioles within our lungs, that branch out from larger vessels, then taper off, narrowing into the smallest of twigs where buds burst forth as spring unfolds.
As I work on my memoir, I read through old journals … words that I wrote long ago, during other seasons of my life. I am struck by the patterns and structure … the way my thoughts form on the page. Though time speeds by and I am miles from where I was thirteen years ago, the footprints and observations I chase after remain as they were and the mysteries I follow never end.
Do you keep a journal? Do you go back and read them again, years later? What do find that has changed? What has stayed the same?