Beauty in All Things

I’ve said this before; New England has its own stark beauty in the winter months. If you are new to this part of the country, it can look drab and dull. But try to look beyond the obvious. There is so much to see and hear.

On my walk around the pond yesterday I saw silvery-gray glassy shards of ice clustered on the edges of the pond, moving and muttering and mashing together. Some would catch the sunlight and glitter like newly discovered diamonds as they bumped into each other.

There was the susurrus of the cold wind rattling and whistling through the stiff dry reeds that ring the pond. Ducks and seagulls quacked and called as they paddled in the icy water, then took to the sky as one.

Then there was the surprise of a beautiful blue-gray heron rising up just below my feet from the edge of the pond, squawking his indignation at being disturbed. By the time I had walked to the other side of the pond, he stepped out of the reeds and settled himself  in a patch of sun, his large wings lowered to shelter his feet and legs. I imagine that felt pretty good after standing in freezing water, waiting for lunch to swim by.

The sky above was china-blue, with thick streaks of marshmallow-y clouds. Some had undertones of gray, indicating possible snow. There were even some orange-y rose hips still clinging to their bushes, bringing light to the browns and grays around them.

Yes, our winters here in New England have a puritanical sort of unadorned beauty, and it does take time to recognize and appreciate it. When I lived in Texas, where gorgeous flowers bloomed all year long and the evening skies were filled with lavish paint strokes of red, orange, gold, rose, and lavender, and brightly colored birds shrilled in the evening—I still missed my old wren-brown New England winters.

Beauty is a tricky thing, and is truly in the eye of the beholder. Here in New Hampshire when the sky turns deep blue-black, the stars twinkle and shine as if to coax the bright silver moon up to join them. At this time of year, my favorite constellation is back in the heavens; Orion the Hunter.

Yesterday brought me both the heron and Orion; both beautiful, both amazing.