Today has been a day full of the oddest, end-of-the-year joy. Just happiness like that: Boom. As if a massive house-cleaning took place and suddenly it all feels sort of new even though it isn’t. I was sick for Christmas, as I often was when I was young, so it was with a great primitive, animal joy that I energetically walked out into the world yesterday feeling like a new person just in time for a new year. And the good feeling stuck…
I walked and walked, just for the sheer joy of feeling my legs do that pendulum thing legs do. Ticking and tocking down the country road, early enough in the morning for the light to be low and the fog to be creeping around like a magic, flying blanket, covering things in softness and a photoshoppy haze.
The brambles that are cut short between the road and the railroad tracks are completely leafless now, but at that hour of the day every one was jeweled with dew. And every yard or so, was a beautiful perfect spider web. I am fascinated by spiders and their webs, and have always felt that these animals had a sort of symbolic power for me. But I have never seen any webs like these. Not this perfect. Not this tiny (not one was bigger than a hand-span.) And not this perfectly lit.
I don’t know what kind of spider wove these. And even as I snapped away, I never saw the creators sitting in the midst of their homes/traps. It seemed as if they’d all been abandoned. Maybe the spiders have moved to warmer vacation webs in slightly more southerly locations. Who knows. And I saw no insects trapped in these webs. Only I was trapped. Couldn’t stop looking, marveling, gasping with delight.
At the end of the road I turned toward the canal and circled back around between the canal and the fields on the far side. Beginning this leg on a rise, I was surprised to look down and see my own shadow (with my fur bomber hat) spreading like a giant, alien (or angel) shape across the baby plants hanging on in the dewy cold. I felt bigger than life for a moment. Lit, even, by a halo around my head. Even as I walked and my shadow shortened, the halo persisted, following me and glowing like mad.
Does anyone know why that happens? I’ve just read today’s post on thekitchensgarden and I notice that in the first picture there’s a halo around Celi’s head too. What is the explanation for this? Can anyone tell me?
Enjoying my undeserved halo and my beautiful natural surroundings, I took a last look at the two trees, standing tall and alone in the middle of the field, one playing hide-and-seek behind the other, and turned back. There on the ground was a big stick, clearly washed along by the canal…its bark had been peeled away and it had the smooth story-telling skin of driftwood that I can never resist. I picked it up and brought it home with me.
Every girl needs a good stick, don’t you think?