One Sunflower

tunnel vision

on December 7, 2010

Usually I don’t notice the foothills on my drives out to school, but today, clouds obscured the mountain,  so it was their  gray-green slopes that were my horizon.  I saw the patchwork of forestry,  bumps of small peaks, and the lingering blush of  fall color.  I haven’t paid much attention to the foothills; usually their outline just becomes a frame for Mt. Baker or a dusky line that makes the sky seem more brilliant or not present at all because of low-lying fog.

The drive  is dominated by views of a ring of mountains beginning with Mt. Baker and the Twin Sisters in the east and circling north to the continuation of the Cascade range into Canada.  The snow line has dropped and now, if there is any sun at all, the peaks are brilliant against the sky.  On rainy days, the view becomes severely truncated  – to the road, the fields, a near-by stand of trees.  But there are some days that the light is quirky and landscape details that are usually hazy, stand out crisply or in vivid contrast to their surroundings.

Today was like that.  The pond by the house where the road dips reflected the sky perfectly, the fields a jewel green next to the silver water. Swans are back in the fields rummaging with their beaks among  dead corn canes.  I notice nests in the tops of trees and I’m left wondering how they have withstood the winds up there for a whole season.

As the days become shorter and shorter, so does my focus.  I travel to school in the dark and try to zoom home before it gets dark again.  I slide into my easy chair like a foot into a sheepskin slipper and all that is important to me is close at hand.  My knitting is at my elbows and books are under my bedside. My favorite sweaters never quite make it all the way into the drawer; a sleeve is always ready to grab, pull out and tuck into.

As I proceed like a hedgehog into the tunneling landscape that is December, I find it challenging to imagine that the corner will turn in January and I’ll be noticing the foothills and the wide blue horizon again.


3 responses to “tunnel vision

  1. Bonnie k says:

    I love reading slices that capture a well known and well-loved place.
    I loved this one

  2. Tara says:

    I had t read your descriptions over and over again – you captured the way one re-notices familiar landscapes and savors its unexpected treasures and unexpected moments. That last image was lovely, too – exactly how I feel about coming home at the end of a school day, changing into comfy clothes and feeling cocooned in warmth and comfort. Great slice!

  3. Juliann says:

    I could feel myself slipping into a warm sweater and putting my feet up! Great slice. I have been reading but not responding too much lately – just counting the days until Christmas break but I am keeping up with your posts on standards and hope to get back to chatting soon.

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