Morning has broken, and what a daybreak. After a long drive in the dark the previous night, I went out like a light in the comfortable cabin’s loft and slept like one of the logs neatly piled up next to the downstairs fireplace.
Sun rays now dance on my ice flower decorated window, inviting me out to play. I get out of bed, look out and realize that nature has a big do on, and if I don’t get a move on, I am going to miss the ball: The performance is rather short these days; the stage light is only working part time, putting more hours and lots more ampere in on the opposite side of the globe.
But what a glorious performance…
The gently sloping mountains in the distance are bathed in light and covered in Mother Nature’s own amazing glaze. The alpine sleeping beauties sparkle in the sun, and would, if they could, have turned this way and that to show off from all angles their forever fashionably folded robes. The tops of the trees just outside the cabin are ever so slightly swaying in what must be the least ambitious of breezes.
A bird in the distance is once in a long while letting out a melancholy cry, taking long pauses, as if each sound takes a lot of effort, both mentally and physically. Its winged companions have probably moved to warmer hemispheres where blood runs fast, song comes easy. Or they are huddled up in some sheltered space, next to the sturdy stem and under the protective branch of a friendly tree.
Maybe my melancholy friend stayed behind because not being a morning bird, he accidently missed the flock’s departure. Or perhaps he took it upon himself to keep the music going till Spring comes and makes everything vibrate and sing again. He goes on voicing what seems to be a combination of regrets and hopes while the sun is rolling just above the hillcrest, but the second the yellow ball of cold fire dips below the ridge and into the quickly darkening winter afternoon, my friend grows quiet.
There is still quite a bit of daylight left, and the opposite side of the valley is golden with the last blessings of the setting sun. I ascend up a not very beaten path; the snow on the ground is hard packed, and the footprints of previous hikers just show up vaguely and sporadically. Soon they stop altogether, and the only signs of former traffic are what I assume to be several day old moose tracks.
I aim for the highest point, taking in the sounds of stillness and the calming, beautiful age-old views all around me. Views that are more or less the same today as they were thousands of years ago. A comforting thought, putting mind at rest and things into perspective.
When I decide to go back, I realize I haven’t been paying attention to where I’ve been going, and the thicket of trees and bushes I soon find myself in does not really give any clue as to the whereabouts of the cabin I set out from a good while ago. I know it is “down there” somewhere, but this particular “down there” is a long valley, and as the daylight is quickly fading I am pretty impatient to find my bearings.
I set eyes on a power line I saw on my way up, and follow it for a while. Until I realize it is the wrong one of two parallel lines, and will never take me back to my awaiting chair in front of the large, cosy fireplace. Instead I find myself a kilometre down the narrow, gravel road I came up the previous day. Relieved that at least now I know my whereabouts, I half run up the hill, eager to get back.
As I am almost there, a winter white hare suddenly scurries across the road in front of me. As it reaches the shrub on the other side it instantly disappears from view, perfectly camouflaged to blend in with the snowy ground, before revealing itself again a few seconds later as a silhouette on top of a small mound. It sits there, quietly observing me. After a while, seemingly having put me down as no threat, it turns around and without haste takes a few long jumps into the sunset, out of sight, but definitely not of mind.
With an uplifted feeling, smiling to myself at the unexpected, but pleasant encounter, I cover the last few meters between where I’ve been standing and the house. Content, like spending time in the company of nature tends to leave you, I go inside. Closing the door behind me, but mentally leaving it ajar, making it easy to slip out again. Through the widow I can see the silhouettes of trees, enhanced by the mild light of the full moon, hovering protectively above the silent landscape. By now the hare will wisely have found cover for the night. Soon I too will slip under my duvet and dream of new sights to see, other walks to walk, and brand new untainted dawns. Like people and days; alike.