01.08.16 What a shock it was to see the sunset around 4:00 one afternoon this week, on my way back from town. With the exception of a few diluted rays here and there, we have not seen sunshine since well before Christmas. I’d forgotten how wonderful it is. Rather than going straight home, I zig-zagged around on roads which would afford me the best views, and stopped my car at the side of the crusty, snow-packed road to take it all in. There’s a deer family I regularly see walking across this field and over little icy ponds in the late afternoons. Their delicate legs sink deep into the snow as they slowly trudge along, heads bowed. I often stop to take their photograph–so beautiful they are silhouetted against the snow and the buck with his large antler rack–but, they always look at me momentarily with their big brown eyes, and then I’ve frightened them to run away. They make me think of the migrant families trying to reach Europe, making cold, dangerous crossings.
Seeing the sun in January, I’m reminded of the Tom Hennen poem, Sheep in the Winter Night. There’s a line he writes, “In the darkness of the barn their wooly backs were full of light gathered on summer pastures”. My house is layered in wool tartan throws and pillows. I have an entire dresser dedicated to wool sweaters in every shape and color and a closet stuffed with wool scarves. I’m sure I was meant to live in the north country because of my love of all things woolen. I’ve been going to sleep at night with a lovely blue, cream and brown plaid wool throw. I wrap it around my bare feet and am instantly warm, and when I close my eyes, there’s the light gathered on summer pastures…I am counting sheep.