Winter Mornings and Celestial Marvels

December 18, 2007

The middle of December and snow has yet to fall. The early morning sparkles white, frost has taken the place of snow. In a season of darkness it is a refreshing sight. Yesterday, before the darkness of winter came to dominate the landscape, the dominant colors were brown and grey. A world robbed of its colors by the cold weather winter always brings. To make up for this loss of color and life in the world snow falls. The soft snow that has fallen from the skies cover the lands and transform the brown and grey into a sparkling white.

The world is frost is a marvellous sight. What water the air held suspended between sky and earth has frozen into sparkling crystals. Less fragile and they would have been as dear to mankind as diamonds. Every surface of nature’s has been carefully covered with frost. The branches of the trees are yet again holding wonders. Not leaves nor flowers nor fruit, but the tribute to symmetry crystals of ice feature.

The green grass of summer that had turned into the brown grass of late autumn is now covered in white. From afar the frosty grass resembles a frail landscape of snow. Those who change perspective, from afar to close up, know the difference. It is not a dusty cover that has fallen overnight. Thousands of crystals of ice have found a new home upon the surfaces the strands of grass present.

It is a world of white the morning of frost has revealed. The sky above the sparkling lands is as white as the joined forces of the fragile crystals. Clouds refelct the color of what is below them. Remarkable is to realize that today’s white sky is free from clouds. The sky has too been decorated with frost by nature.

As the early morning grows older so does the darkness of it grow brighter. The hands of my clock still show one-digit hours. The day is still young. Sun has just awoken from her long winter sleep. Yawning she ligers just below the horizon. The sky is bright to the south-east though shadows yet have to be cast by the trees of the far away horizon.

In winter the light of day is in no hurry. It comes as it pleases if it comes at all. This morning it is later than it has been earlier this year. Perhaps that is why the horizon blushes as Sun lingers just below. She awaits the perfect moment to make her entrance. A true primadonna who wishes to shine the most. Perhaps this beautiful primadonna of ours, who brought us life and light, is shy this winter morning. All days before today Sun has been the brightest light the world has ever known.

As Sun climbs higher on the sky, though still hidden from view by the mere distance between her and myself, the sky blushes more and more. It is a shy morning today features, I think. Pondering why some mornings are more shy than others when they are not dissimilar at all, I realize that it is I who am mistaken. The morning is not shy. The soft colors of pink and peach that the horizon is painted with is not the proof of a shy Sun making her entrance. No. It is Sun being as vain as she has the right to be. She is the oldest of the familiar faces we know and love. Considering that, she does indeed have the right to be vain.

The old proverb: “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky at morning, sailor’s warning.” is not entirely attentive to the truth. It is not Sun who falters when the skies are blushing. She tries to make up for the weather of the approaching day by painting the sky with the soft hues of peaches. A fruit of sunshine and far away summers.

It is with tired eyes I gaze upon the horizon. The early morning of brought a reason of mine to stop trying to fall asleep. As clear and white as the sky is this morning, as clear and velvet black it was a few hours ago. The familiar constellations of the starry sky sparkled and blessed the night. It was long since the sky was as clear. For someone who loves the stars and the celestial wonders only the night can bring, one night like last night makes up for a year of cloudy skies.

Last night the air was crisp and cold. It was the first sign of the appearance of the upcoming morning. The air was as crisp as the frost that formed overnight.

Philosophical beings such as myself have many things to be amazed and breathtaken by. People wo can not stop considering and pondering, turning even the most obvious of wuestions inside out, marvel at the small size of man. To stand below a starry sky, and know that it is larger than one can ever concieve, one is reduced in size from standing two meters tall to having no measurable size at all. The philosophical part of me wonders why this reduction of size is what appeals the most.

The stars are breathtaking in beauty and infinite in numbers. Despite these truths, what keeps me longing for clear nights and starry skies is none of the before mentioned traits of the velvet black. What keeps me longing for the diamonds of the skies is the reduction of size the gazing brings. The feeling of forever more and the realization of that nothing matters in the end is what makes up for the wait for the clear skies to appear.

Like all nights following a rosy evening, last night was cold and crisp. The watery mist of my breath, whose beauty I have only recently come to fully appreciate, accompanied me in the dark. Familiar faces greeted me and I smiled. The long lost friends of last year’s winter had returned if so only for a while. It is hard to wrap one’s mind around the fact that one’s whole world is in constant motion. It is easier to imagine that it is the celestial velvet that moves over the course of time. Physicists would claim that both statements are correct. “It is all a matter of defining what relates to the other.” Is it I, the stargazer, who moves in relation to the diamond scattered sky or is it the celestial gemstones that move in relation to my world?

Orion is the ruler of the skies. His majestic figure covers a large part of the sky I can gaze upon. His raised arm and wooden club stretch all the way to the center of the sky. His shoulder a shining red, a well known star. His belt form the Three Wise Men, and below hang his mighty sword. For someone new to this world he would appear to be nothing but a collection of stars, of shining perforations on a black sheet. It is only to those who hold the gift of imagination that the constellation becomes more than the sum of its parts – not single stars but a dear friend who only comes to visit on clear winter nights.


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