Most notable was the Catalpa tree just in front of me. It's trunk rose straight up above the drifted snow. The dark ribbon of road served as backdrop as the wind-sculpted snow seemed to rise from the ground.
Where the sun touched the snow, it took on an almost warm glow; where the snow lay in shadow, the blue sky reflected its colder tint. We are nature's audience and a constant nature stands forever at her easel, trying this color and that, forming texture and wiping it away, discarding an exquisite work in progress, beginning anew. There is neither satisfaction in a work well done or disappointment in one failed.
I note the lesson here.
If I lift my camera slightly, pan left, I see alongside Clayton Road snowballs created by the speeding plow, thrown there in a wild flurry as it passed. They are the wrong color (though the pink hue helps) but they remind me of a boulder-strewn Martian landscape, untouched by humanity beyond our machines. Here I have the advantage of walking through the debris, kicking it aside as I complete such a mundane task as gathering the day's mail. To live on planet Earth! Is there anything more wondrous than this?
I lift my camera yet again and I'm peering across the field in front of Pinehaven. Where corn waved luxuriously in August, where deep greens stood seven feet high, now short orange stubble pokes through drifting snow. Long blue shadows, like an elderly Earth's veins, point both directly away from the sun and betray it's position.
The sky now takes on another Martian glow, a pinkish tinge so common in those robotic images. If I am lucky to live on this life-giving Earth, I am equally blessed to share this small spot in a starkly-quiet galaxy.
Are we the Milky Way's only observers? Is the Universe barren but for here? Then this sunset becomes even more luxurious and special. Of all the gleaming suns - billions upon countless silent billions - is this tickle of pink upon new fallen snow unshared?
How can I be anything but humbled?