In the spring and summer, Creation is simply bursting at the seams with new life, overflowing, like a too-filled glass – On any given day, the fragrance of green things, growing life, blooming flowers, the songs of love-struck birds and their birdlings, the murmur of the trees, all these combine to create an unmistakable portrait of freshness and life.
In the winter, though, when the snow flies and the drab brown of late fall is buried, a new sort of life appears. It is found in the subtle play of lights and shadows, the flicker and glint of ice, the sifting magic of the falling snow, the bewildering and enchanting shades of color found in a drift of snow or in the shadows beneath the trees, the lavender and pale blue and silver and grey and amethyst. The few hours of warm light call out what hardy animals remain above the earth, and they bask while they can in what warmth they can find.
The moonlit night is the most alive, when the snow-covered hillsides stretch out further than they do in the daylight, brighter than day, when the edge of the woods looms up dark and strangely welcoming, and when the light of the moon drowns out all but the brightest of the stars. The stars seem to shine instead from the glinting snow, flickering, changing, sparking, and it dazzles the eyes, the play of dark and light. It is entirely otherworldly, and it is sublime. Frost settles into the branches of the trees and onto the hip-high grasses, and then they, too, glint and flicker and take on an enchantment of their own. The moon of summer doesn’t compare with the moon of winter.
And then, at the end of the day, when the light is just right, the memory of fall is recalled, the memory of the end of the summer – gold and red and rich brown and the sagey green of lichen. That lasts only minutes before the sun disappears behind the hills and a deep blue shadow spreads out over the valleys.
Spring and summer are alive with breathing life, growing life, and blooming life. Winter is alive with sunlight and moonlight and starlight, reflecting off ice and snow and filtering through the bare branches of trees.
The life of winter is the changing, mystifying life of light.