February light

Because I’m hard at work this month revising the essays in my forthcoming book, Mnemonic: A Book of Trees, I’ve been thinking about clarity – of language and intention mostly but also of light. What is it about late February? Only a matter of weeks ago, we were drowning in rain. Next month, it will probably be the same. But right now, there is such cold clarity in the sky! Yesterday John and I were driving home from Sechelt around 6 p.m. The Sunshine Coast highway follows the coastline for part of our journey. We saw the sun set beyond Texada Island, a few clouds orange and gold from the sun’s remnant light, saw the dark trees on the headlands silhouetted against the deep blue twilit sky, and then we saw the first stars appear above Mount Hallowell, more fiercely silver than at any other time of the year.  In a way, I’m not surprised. Last week the moon was full and the stars, as Sappho once noted, “hide back their luminous form/when all full she shines/on the earth/ silvery.” We made the fire, did a few chores, and much later, after I’d been asleep for some hours, I woke to see that the stars had multiplied beyond counting. Almost on cue, the coyotes began their chorus somewhere to the east of our house, each note so clear that if I knew how to notate, I’d have done just that.

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~ by theresakishkan on February 25, 2011.

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