Saturday, 6 December 2014
Our Place in the Landscape
The lines of mist that still streak the valley after dawn hang above the frosted leaves lying beneath the trees. As each day's light shrinks towards the Winter Solstice, the dawn comes late and the light levels dim long before the afternoon is over.
Last night it was brighter after sunset than the hours before as the Full Moon rose and lit the air with a clarity that was sharper than the diffused sunlight of the day as the air cleared and cloud cover dispersed on the winds so it was still for a while.
So there was a frost this early morning, but not for long. Some cloud cover returned though there was also plenty of pale-blue sky and clear sunlight. Now it is afternoon and the rain has returned. In such ways the weather shifts the feel of days and nights, shifts the look of the land from day to day or even within the passing of the current few hours of sunlight.
What of our weather clocks, the ways we internalise the passing seasons, the transformations from Spring to Summer, from Autumn to Winter, and within those seasons from one day to another, from one feature of the weather to another. If the nature of what we see changes with the clarity of the light, the falling of rain or snow, the thickening or dispersal of cloud, the pressure of the air; does our knowledge of how or why this happens remove us from it as much as the heated rooms and protective rooves under which we take shelter?
Do we still have a place in the landscape that we look out upon as an objective space, or do we no longer belong there? The question seems to need asking, but also to need refusing. Our place cannot be denied but at the same time our separation is also undeniable. With such contradictions we live and work and play in a world of our own creation, but equally in one that creates us as inexorably as it creates the shifting of the winds, the tides, the weather.
So the lifting of the mist in the valley this morning still feels like a subjective fact of which I am a part, rather than something merely watched and noted.