This cold, snowy winter has lifted my spirits. A few weeks ago, I traveled to Montreal by train and watched the ice build up on the Hudson, and then the mountains of the Adirondacks rise, and, finally, the vast frozen expanse of Lake Champlain recede into the distance in a haze of mist.
Last weekend, I saw eagles over Croton Point, and one screech owl hidden in an Eastern Pine.
Most recently, I saw the valleys within valleys and lakes beyond bridges from the vantage point of a ridge far above Bear Mountain. The curve of each geologic shape was made visible by the absence of leaves, and I thought about how the quality of light in winter is reflective, rather than absorptive.
This has been a year of travel, so far, and of leaving New York for other cities and other memory-places. My old routines are gone for the most part, or abandoned temporarily. (I ran to Queensbridge Park the other day and found it paved and ready for recreation, no crumbling paths left, and I felt a sense of loss.) However, in spite of movement rediscovered, mostly, it seems that I roam around in search of grasses.
Or open fields that archive the views seen by others. (This is North Elba, where Mary Brown remained behind.)
I am a poor naturalist–I can hardly name any birds or trees or celestial bodies. And I have realized lately that I can’t hear silence anymore, but instead, a silvery hum. I saw one pond, still and cold, in the morning before sunrise for two days in a row and it was a welcome pattern. I felt remote and small and unchanging.