While I sat writing the previous paragraph, the tallest, most distant peaks begin to ignite with first light and the stunted trees on the highest ridges appeared to catch on fire. Explosively. The suddenness with which this happens catches me by surprise.
The color of fresh morning begins to work its way down the mountainside now, ridge by ridge, outcrop by outcrop, igniting boulders of granite with a fiery curtain of daylight. It is dropping, falling, tumbling like golden honey flowing down a long stack of hot cakes.
The lowest meadow, which had remained oblivious, can take it no more. The tops of the tallest pines stretch to catch the sunlight, then the entire grove faces into the sun and finally, the rustling meadow grass joins the fray and morning – in all her explosive yellow red brilliance - is upon us.
I am at the end of the meadow, on a bench hewn from a single great log. I am sketching the scene wildly as it continues to change. Shadows shorten, the fire approaches and then, like a cold camper stepping into a pleasantly hot shower, the warmth strikes my back and my shoulders.
I now know how the stunted trees on the ridge felt.
Jeff L. Howe, all rights