Leaving the house in the morning at this time of year has a comforting melancholy. The low late slanted light of these cool, damp, and slightly misty October mornings reminds me of nothing so much as the low green fields of Holland in January. The sun stays behind the trees for longer than I expect, it’s warmer than it should be, but all is right. Walking up the hill it seems as if someone opened a large can of woodsy forest scent, ca. 1950, extra strong. Or perhaps it’s ca. 1512 and I’ve just put on my cloak and gotten my basket to go mushroom hunting, an activity that would surely have marred my reputation — or made it, perhaps, as mushrooms were known as “devil’s bread” in premodern Dutch. Whichever way, these mornings bring a sense of fulfillment, of nature folding in on itself, ready to take a nap – redolent with the promise of energizing walks that end with a bowl of soup by a fire. (Here’s a thing on mushrooms from a site on medieval Dutch cooking.)
But when the light gets turned on, here, now, in New England, it dazzles with a sharp edge of color and slant and intensity that make me wonder at the miracle of it all and my luck at being able to see it.
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