Monday, March 7, 2011

2.21 White Light in My Mind

White too bright to see
My eyes seek tree trunk shadows
White light in my mind

While snow sinks into the ground or goes up in smoke in coastal New England, the wild wintery frontiers of the Adirondack Mountains grow only whiter. We traveled up there on the Presidents Day weekend to stay at Gwen and Dave’s lakefront camp.
The snow gardens of northern mountains were freshly whitened by a fall of several inches of powdery white on Friday night as we were sloshing through a vicious February thunderstorm on the eastern half of the Massachusetts turnpike.
More snow swirled on the road Saturday morning, when we drove north after a night Albany. I woke in the early pre-dawn hours that night to a wind-maddened snow frenzy that seemed more dream than reality. Reality however turned into snow squalls on our windshield the next morning.
And new snow again on the plowed private road that winds along the lake in Inlet, where my sister’s camp is located.
Snow showers in the afternoon and again after dark, whiting out the moon. Turning the frozen lake and the white-washed landscape into a brilliant and dazzling monochrome.

Fresh Powder

Snow crystals, millions
of tiny mirrors multiply
daylight made of ice

Next day the color of the sky is a deep, improbable azure above the blazing white snowscape. Why is the sky so deep, so dry? Mountain air is drier, perhaps. The temperature drops but does not sting like our moist, coastal freezes. So much reflected snow-light turns the sky a photo-shopped blue.
Against the hillside, the thin bare trees make cooling shadows, interruptions of snowlight. Little slashes, secret hideouts where the eye may escape bedazzlement, for an instant or two. Then we are back to our improvised Arctic.