It occurs to me today that December is just … dark.
I don’t mean that it’s emotionally dark. I mean that it’s literally dark. Because as December deepens, there’s less and less daylight for me to wander out in the woods, thinking and dreaming and breathing and shooting and writing.
On days like today, the only time I spend in the sun is the 30 seconds it takes to walk to my car in the morning.
You can see the effects on my camera roll first: there are almost no photos there, because without sunlight (my favorite subject), or green leaves (my second), it’s difficult for me to find anything to place in my viewfinder. And since I’m such a visual person, the result is a creative dryness.
A visual deprivation.
Tonight, in the absolute dark, I go out walking.
I don’t bring my camera.
Instead of letting my eyes lead me, I try to listen instead.
There’s a total absence of crickets or cicadas or birdsong, and tonight the atmosphere is almost perfectly still — not even a breeze.
After awhile, though, I begin to hear: the soft tweet-tweet-tweet of a bat above me. The slow, single note ting of a windchime turning gently in the air.
Under the limbs of a tall oak, I stop and stand still, trying to hear something. And after a few minutes, where before I heard just quiet, I begin to hear whispers:
Dry leaf against leaf.
Dry branch against branch.
A hush that’s full of life, like a hundred voices waiting to speak.
I take no photos.
I speak no words.
For today at least, the hush feels holy. ❤