a peaceful afternoon

I have a South-facing window, where I am sitting right now, wearing sunglasses against the fierce glare of a rare cloudless day.  South is where the sun is, and it’s also where the water is.  I live on the coast, and beyond my window is a small enclosed harbor lined with rows of snow-covered boats.  The water in the harbor is still and frozen and dotted with chunks of ice, but beyond is the sea.  Today there is only a fresh breeze (which I mean colloquially, not according to the Beaufort Scale), and the sea is a sparkling, shimmering surface.  If stars could be shattered like glass and skipped like stones, if angels could dance on the pinpoints of light, it would look like this sea shimmering under this sun.

In the other direction is a small mountain ridge with a few stocky peaks rising from snow-covered shoulders.  Their white is outlined in sharp relief against the bluebird sky, though it’s becoming cast in shadow as the sun descends.  On one slope, two dark shapes dart across the white backdrop.  Are they on the mountain or before it?  Are they skiers or birds?  The combination of blinding white snow and glare from the sun are robbing my depth perception.

White puffs rise and fall like whispers from these peaks as the snow is touched by the wind.  I don’t know why I find this so mesmerizingly beautiful.  The windblown snow only dances around the tops of the peaks, sometimes dislodging more snow that tumbles in roughly-hewn shapes down the slope.

As the sun turns from a bright glaring bulb to a shrouded gassy orb and its light filters through the atmosphere at an increasingly shallow angle, the horizon flashes through a myriad of colors that no palette and color wheel can ever fathom.  In passing, a few rays of light also filter through the pilothouse windows of the silent waiting fleet in the harbor.  At dusk, the harbor lights will come on to create its own twinkling city beneath the stars.  I will take a walk to the end of the harbor to stand and bask for a few minutes in the frozen air, but I can’t decide when is my favorite point in the sun’s journey to the horizon.

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