Vestigial Views…

“Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings—always darker, emptier, and simpler.” ~ Nietzsche.Woods

A splendid sojourn in the small town of Wilmington Vermont allowed me a respite to relax and ruminate upon varied writings. I had just finished the first draft to my novel, and I was in the midst of adding a few paragraphs here and there to other manuscripts, mere passages tossed into the pages, something at least, written.

The house was nestled high in the mountains, tucked between copses of birch and towering old growth pines. The dense woods emitted only feeble light. Come dusk the interior of such snow-covered sylvan surroundings cast deep impenetrable shadows within. Light was imperceptible. Darkness consumed all.

 “To rid ourselves of our shadows—who we are—we must step into either total light or total darkness.”

~Jeremy Preston Johnson.

Woods at DuskWhat unseen creatures haunt these darkled woods? What fauna frolic in the gloaming recesses of these groves?

I stood on the deck and peered into its depths. Unknown tracks stretched into the thickets. The trees swayed and groaned in the frigid brumal winds. Branches rubbed and squealed. Mere yards away, a twig snapped underfoot. Or was it underpaw? Of what nocturnal beast, who knew? Best to take photos from inside, safe and warm against the stygian shroud that cloaked the landscape.

NightThe night held sway to ferocious winds and straining boughs. Gazing into the blackness, the forest was silhouetted by the soft glow of a gibbous moon, subdued by a scrim of silver clouds. The pines danced in unison to nature’s ancient rhythms.

BirchComforted by a roaring hearth and red wine, I wondered how early man survived such winter severity.  Shivering in their caves, sentinels to their niche in granite, their portal open to skulking carnivores. A small, pitiful fire kept at bay these unseen nightly terrors.

Back home, a small tree gives weight to its twilight shadow. The sun, huddled along the horizon, creates wonderful, blue-hued shadows on a snowy world.

(One long shadow…)

 005 (2)006 (2)007 (2)“The other day when I was walking through the woods, I saw a rabbit standing in front of a candle making shadows of people on a tree.” ~ Stephen Wright.

What shadows do you see in the clutches of winter?




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