The light today was as thin as dried grass. It was the light of grays—no shadows, no yellows.
Despite the weakness of the light, it was a pleasure to walk. I have hardly looked-up beyond my computer monitor for three weeks. Three weeks of early mornings and late nights. I only discovered this morning a large branch blown from my larch by a storm a week ago.
The week-old effects of the windstorm lay still in the woods. The forest floor had a thick new carpet that was a textured cross-hatching of yellow and orange larch needles. Brown and green polygons of ponderosa pine needles overtopped the larch carpet. Short branches of pine and Douglas fir lay on the trail. The leaves on these branches pointed still to the sky and around, holding their phyllotactic helices. How many days will it be until their turgidity is lost or hikers tramp them into the mat of the forest floor?
When I stepped out of the forest, the wind on the ridge was stiff and cold. I hunched my shoulders against it and zipped my layers tight against my neck. Where the Blue Mountains swell the southern horizon, there were distant patches of snow. There was snow, too, on the hills to the east. The season has been changing while I’ve been enclosed by work. This week I want more light.