For me, the transition time between late afternoon and early evening is a time for prayer. The same is true for the time of overlap between late fall and early winter. The year’s dusk is a sacred time for me. The coming darkness brings with it a sense of quiet that draws me inward.
The week before Thanksgiving we had an early snowfall, which turned to drizzle as the temperature rose. I considered whether to get out my cross-country skis and head to my favorite hiking trails in Hollis, New Hampshire. A part of me kept asking: is it fall, or is it winter? The leaves weren’t all down, yet the winter drizzle penetrated my bones. I postponed. The following afternoon I went out to the
Hollis, New Hampshire, Late-November
Ask questions like these, and you begin to let go,
Walking at dusk.
The low sun peeks out from the clouds,
one last time.
Rays of sun draw my attention away from my thoughts
to the moist ground beneath my feet.
Deer hoof prints mingle with foot prints
sinking down to reveal the water beneath the snow.
I taste the cool damp of the forest through my fingers,
the exposed skin of my neck.
A brave skier came through here yesterday when I was inside shivering,
traced a path for me to follow, circumventing puddles.
Some places the leaves are so thick,
snow is the exception.
What was the wind that blew these oak leaves down?
Rain-laden wind, midnight gale – who was here, watching?