Came The Dawn   Dec 21, 2009

“Bmpf” (note to self: clear a path across the living room before you plan to stumble about in the pre-dawn darkness)

It’s quarter to seven in Eugene, Oregon and I’m going to DO it. Watch the sun rise on Solstice morn.

Alright, but not without a cup of tea. I flip on the back hall light just long enough to see what needs to happen with water. Flip, off it goes.

I dig a spot out on the couch and sit with my tea mug. This is great. I’ve rarely so eagerly awaited a sunrise. It’s dark out, but I can clearly see the classic silhouettes of our magnificent Douglas Firs against the sky, so that says the sky is lightening already. I realize I have not made a visual note of exactly WHICH trees the sun rises between at this time of year. During the summer, when such a thing would be happening around 5am, it would be WAYYYYY over there. Right now I have to look SOUTH as far as my big window will allow.

In this odd light, it’s hard to tell what the clouds are up to. Is that blue sky between them? Or is that greyer clouds over the white? No, that’s seriously BLUE sky, oh this is going to be gorgeous.

Like an orchestra warming up, the clouds begin to blush oh, so slowly. So subtly that you have to look away to actually see it.

I notice the most massive of the firs beginning to sway back and forth like they just can’t help themselves. Well, of course they can’t, the Wind Faeries are out there pushing and shoving and ruffing up their branches. But they seem to enjoy it. I’ve come to the conclusion that trees really and truly enjoy dancing.

The clouds cease blushing as though maybe the second viola hasn’t shown up yet. I watch the MagicMountainRange form out of thick grey clouds at the horizon with its attending lake of silver fog. I used to dream that exact image repeatedly as a small child. I remember so clearly the first time I got somewhere with enough of a view that I actually SAW it – silver fog lake and everything.

But said clouds are charging from south to north and the blue sky bits are shrinking. Oh, comon clouds, don’t get all OREGON on me here. They rarely listen. The sky goes thick, fluffy, solid grey. Hm. So the sky goes into suspended animation but I notice the COLORS on the ground have shifted greatly. There’s a rosy haze that is the reddish stems of the banks and banks of blackberries intent on eating the property and making fruit for everyone.  The chickadees totally get that concept and are hopping around in the thorniness safe from the cats and stuffing their tiny selves with the billions of dried, seed-filled berries we never could reach.

But it’s the LICHENS I just love. I have decided, as of this Solstice morn, that I have finally identified the COLOR of our lichens ~a lighter shade of sage~. A soft, greyish, bluish, greenish, whitish state of fuzz. And against the black-green of the Doug Firs, it’s just beautiful.

Solstice Morn 2009

Being a transplant from the NorthEast, I so appreciate the quality of winter here in Eugene. It truly feels like the difference between pushing yourself until you crash in a Flu-ed out heap and sitting back, putting your feet up and deciding to REST – with a smile on your face and lichens all over your branches.

It may well be that because I feel such a strong kinship with the plants, it was always hard to have them go so frozen-silent and be staring at me like bushes in a wax museum. Out here they doze, they don’t pass out. Out here you can find that delicious Promise Of Spring everywhere you look. And it all speaks of turning inward as a means of restoring, partly because we get virtually our entire year’s rain during the winter months. Roots are running deep right now. Nice concept.

I look to the sky again and the entire orchestra seems to have gone out for breakfast. I won’t say there are NO colors in the sky; I’m seeing 14 different shades of grey. Shoot the stage manager, he forgot to raise the curtain, that’s all. Doesn’t mean there isn’t a MAJOR party going on behind it.

But Oh, What a Beautiful Morning!

Happy Solstice one and all.