Skeleton Dances

Snow, Night, Moon, Cold, Winter, Trees, Landscape

The moon was so bright over the untouched snowscape that I thought I had left a light on downstairs to reflect out. I was half asleep at midnight and it took a moment to turn and look out the window in the other direction and there was the bright moon. The bare trees cast stark and beautiful shadows like skeleton dancers in the night.

The angle of rise of the moon was just right at that moment and it was captured perfectly in my mind. Later the skeletons were gone as the moon evolved and the dance was over.

The winter weather has its own majesty when you are out of the urban or suburban sprawl. Here on this rural New England hilltop there is nothing but us and snow and the skeleton trees. The morning shows us the footprints of our night visitors, raccoons and small wild cats perhaps.

This bitter weather confines all but the hardiest souls, like being in a hurricane or other outdoor disaster. You know it is bigger than yourself and that you are powerless in its wake except now perhaps with a shovel. In the presence of illness we are imprisoned here, hunkered down and warm enough.

The snowfield is beautiful both day and night in different ways. The brilliant moon reflects on the icy crust which glitters like diamonds in the moonglow. The sun brings a different kind of shine. But the sun is a rare thing, only occasionally breaking the shroud like grey of every winter day, giving the illusion of warmth on a 1° morning.

The windows give me a view of the world outside where there are none of the familiar sights, just gleaming white. The inner world is a bit like the trees at night – skeleton dances.

Paradise Pro and Con

People who do not live in Florida tell me that I live in paradise. And in some ways it is true. The sun shines almost all the time, tropical and sub-tropical flowers bloom almost all the time; bougainvillea, oleander, bird of paradise. The scent of orange blossoms and blooming magnolia trees is intoxicating.  Sunrise and sunsets are heartbreakingly beautiful. 

I am, however, averse to the wildlife here. There are bugs the size of my hands, there are alligators in almost all bodies of water, there are snakes. There are tiny lizards that rule the world. There are a ridiculous number of different types of frogs. At certain times of the year the chorus of their voices at night is intense. 

But it is the flowers in New England where I rarely get to go in full summer that speak to me. In part their voice is the voice of memory. Tiger lilies, day lilies, hosta lillies, black eyed susans, daisies beautiful ferns, purple spikey alyssum, bleeding heart, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, cherries, the blooms of the apples to come.

I have become accustomed to sunshine and warmth. I have lived in the sun for many years, although not in the same place. I do not mind visiting the cold, walking in the snow with a frosty nose and cold feet. The weather cannot stop me from going where I want to go. Despite my willingness, I have no great desire to live in the cold and grey. I have so far found no incentive to permanently leave this almost paradise. There are others, to find or visit. We shall see.