12.30.2012

MOONSET AND SNOWFALL


What a gorgeous thing it is, to wake to sunrise over a snowfall. The setting moon was a rare treat and caught me by surprise when I ventured out, all bundled up. I was watching my steps on icy patches, as I am in that "I could fall and it would be days before anyone found me..." state of mind--state of reality--here in the Rhode Island countryside. (Borrowing the guest cottage of generous friends, for those who have followed my displacements of the last six months. I leave. And then I do not.) When I was on firm footing, I looked up, and there it was, cold lunar resplendence.


Over on the other side of the meadow, golden sun. I wish I were better at showing you the dazzle of light through snow; it is frustrating not to be able to capture on film what I see...


... but then again, real photographers spend a lifetime working out how to do that. So without further ado...


This is a heavy, wet snow; it won't last long once the sun rises but it is a thrill nonetheless; I had not realized how much I miss the winter sparkle. I've understood two things being up here alone this Christmas: one, how much holiday lights twinkling in windows and on trees do to relieve the unremitting darkness--four in the afternoon, and the light is dim.


And second, how much the bright glitter of snow does to light up the day, compensating for all that darkness with such harsh intensity that I am relieved  by the paler hues of bare earth and the greys of twilight.


It is better for the plants in hibernation to have a big duvet over their tender roots. The hawks are feasting--that white cover makes for easy prey, "all the better to see you, my dearies..." Poor mice. A couple of Coopers are wheeling overhead, I catch a glimpse of striated wings, and then see only their dense, broad-shouldered shadows glide ominously across the field. Last night the owls were calling so loudly while they hunted that they roused me from the couch and into the storm, "all the better to hear you, my dearies". Marvelous owls. I have learned to make an owl call and get a response (though I know you aren't supposed to do that, as it confuses matters, but who can resist an Owl Duet?)


Storms are the stuff of fairy tales, at least when you are inside, cozy and warm and dry, and the wind is howling around the house. Let us hope that with global warming (we will close out the hottest year on record soon) winter snow in these parts doesn't also become the stuff of fairy tales...Once upon a time, long ago, our winter world was blanketed in white magic, a magic that covered the Earth while it slept, a magic that replenished the streams while they froze, a magic that enchanted the children as they slipped and slid and skated over the crust...



And the ancient frozen faces of giants past, finding themselves unearthed, looked up in wonder, mouths agape, at a world almost forgotten....

18 comments:

karens said...

thank you for casting an enchanting spell on me this morning, pulling me into those pale, quiet colors, striking snow crusted branches.

mjhdesignarts.com said...

Thank you for this beautiful post that awakened my memories of childhood spent in deep, luxurious and very quiet snow. Wishing you every good blessing in 2013.
Mary

Judith said...

Oh how I have missed these posts. Photos one and five remind me of paintings -- that purple light is just gorgeous. We woke to snow this morning too. I didn't bring my camera on our morning dog walk and I should have. But, actually, I was feeling a bit of the frustration you mentioned -- that my photos don't always show what I see. And the remedy for that is????? Well, it's not leaving the camera at home, its using it over and over again :-) Sounds like a good New Year's resolution.


Wishing all of us terrific adventures, peace, and health in 2013.

Natalie said...

Thank you for this magic post and have a Happy, really HAPPY indeed New Year!

All the very best to you Dominique.

Natalie http://jewelyettofind.blogspot.ca

katrinakenison said...

Poetry in words and images both. How grateful I am, always, to find a communication from you in my in-box. Thank you, Dominique, for stopping where you are long enough to share what you see.

donna in san francisco said...

very, very stunningly beautiful and so soberingly true! thanks Dominique for your gorgeous prose and captive photos as well as your comittment to our globe. happy new year and no matter what, if you do fall, we will surely find you!

Karen Albert said...

Stunning images Dominique! So ethereal and magical!

Wishing you all the best in the Year ahead!

xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

Barbara said...

I understand why you do not leave. New England coastal light reaches far during these cold months at twilight. Magical photographs! Wishing you a very bright New Year!!

Cynthia Hill said...

Dear Dominique,
I've missed your elegant prose...you know you can't leave New England it's part of you and your writings.
It's your sadness that disappoints my day ~ I so often count on you to make my days shine.
How can we help you get your shine back?
Gentle hugs and a toasty fire.....a blessed new year to you, Dominique

Leslie Chasing Snow said...

Thank you for this post. Anyone raised here in Portland, Oregon ends up craving snow, since our skies usually clear when it becomes cold enough to snow. (As soon as I could, I spent three winters in Moscow, chasing snow and hoping for a blizzard. According to the Soviets, those were the warmest three winters in 900 years.) The sublime lavender-rose light in the 1st and 5th photographs is similar to what we saw in Portland at twilight yesterday and dawn today, the beginning of a week of cold nights and clear days. Since we have no snow, our light is not as bright in the fullness of daytime as yours. Your photographs are a feast, and I will return to them often. I join you in hoping that, and working so that, snow will not "become the stuff of fairy tales" in your parts of the world, as it already almost has in our city. And, inspired by you, I will go to the nearby mountains of the Cascade Range to glory in it!

Jill said...

How good you are to share this special morning with us. I loved the golden sun and dazzle of light!

We are up to our necks in snow and enjoying the winter wonderland. Kids are out skating on the rinks, toboggan hills full, skis and snowshoes strapped on car roofs, snowbanks so high we cannot see. And it is cold. We could almost believe we have stepped back in time.

Indeed that is an ancient face. What would they think about this crazy world today?

Suzan Katzir said...

On our walk this morning, my (really really big) big dog made snow angels, then stretched out flat on a snow bank with her legs behind her and shoved her big black head down into the snow, searching for mice. When she got up she looked for all the world like Doctor Zhivago, fur covered with snow and ice. And me without my camera. Not that she would have posed for me.

William said...

Great post, Dominique.

Being alone in that cottage on Christmas, to me, sounds, well, AWESOME!

I designed my Christmas day this year, starting a few months ago when the invitations started, to be on my own this year.

"I'm not traveling this year because of work" I told my friends in the south and upstate who offered great and gracious invitations. "I'm traveling this year" I told my friends in the city who invited me over for dinner. Lies, yes. Guilt, yes. Christmas morning and walking over to an almost completely empty Central Park with my dog up here in the 90's with no plans with others for later in the day, pure delight.

Then, a butterflied leg of lamb marinated in garlic and rosemary and red wine and olive oil, potatoes Dauphinoise and haricot vert and a day spent assembling my Christmas present to me, the Lego model of Corbusier's Villa Savoye. Oh, there was some great French red for drinking, too, of course.

It was and AWESOME day of pure solitude with no Internet, no emails, no texting - a total technology-free holiday. I do love these short days and long nights of mid/late fall and early/mid winter. There is no better time for inward focus than when daylight is short.

Should I have been at a soup kitchen serving meals while I made that meal for myself? Of course. We all think that, don't we?

Do I realize this post makes me seem like a total selfish asshole to some? Yes.

By the way, I'm in the middle of a great book, 'The Art of Power' by Jon Meacham published by Random House. I recommend it. Check it out and also check out his 'Franklin and Winston'. He's also a great regular guest on 'Morning Joe' on msnbc. Hold on, did I just do a shameless capitalist Random House/msnbc plug on Dominique's blog?



I might have a 'guy crush' on Jon Meacham. It happens, what can I say.


Happy New Year! Keep in mind, it's just another day.

SlowLoveLifeDominique said...

Dear Cynthia,
I'm sorry you see sadness--I feel suffused with joy. At the heart of the way I feel things is poignance...but that's quite different. Still, sadness when it settles is such a normal part of life, I no longer run from it. I hope you will be able to feel the shine that I feel. And a toasty fire to you, too!

SlowLoveLifeDominique said...

Dear Judith, I suppose another remedy is better camera, classes, all of it....and the thought makes me want to leave the camera home too! So I agree with you, just keep clicking away. A very happy new year to you, and thank you especially for all that you are doing with your writing to make our world that much better....

Sharen McDonald said...

Your photographs are exquisite, Dominique! We certainly can feel "the shine you feel" and the joys of sometime-solitude. My yoga teacher is a very tranquil person and at the start of Shavasana she softly says, "Hold on to your inner smile," - I just love that - and think you understand it too!

karens said...

great post in celebration of solitude. selfish? not a bit. I often make "dates" with myself, happy when darkness falls, a glass of wine, fire, book or some variation on a theme. it never ceases to satisfy.

helen morris said...

I just loved this, the text and photos. You ARE a real photographer and this post was a joy. Best wishes from a snowy old England.