Faith Hope & Fiction

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Blue Light of Dawn

Tricia’s Blog

            I stand in the backyard, as far as my bathrobe and slippers allow with the temperature hovering at freezing. The palest pink begins to blush a far corner of the eastern sky, but I am not ready for the color change. I want to linger in the blue light of dawn.

            Here in the foothills of the lower Cascade Mountains of Oregon, where we have made our home for three years, snow coats the tall shaggy pines, the clipped shrubs, the bare tree branches with just a hint of leaf buds. The forsythia, blooming after unseasonable warmth a week or so ago, huddles in a corner by the garage with its hopeful, yellow blossoms.

            No matter if the clocks move ahead next weekend, or that the Spring Equinox will bring a moment of balance in two-and-a-half weeks, or that Easter will be here at month’s end. Today, it looks like Christmas, and the bluish white wrapping my surroundings feels like a gift.

            Soon, this subtle hue will disappear, along with this inch of mushy snow, as the sun climbs higher and tries to pierce a cottony sky. By late afternoon, melting will send rivulets of runoff down the hill and into the streams and marshes below. Gurgling is the sound of hope and benediction in a place too long plagued by lower-than-average rainfall.

            The Pacific Northwest is a rainforest, particularly in the areas north of us. We need ample precipitation in the fall and winter and well into spring, and snowpack in the higher elevations to slow dissipate during the hot and unbelievably dry summers that always brings the threat of wildfire in Oregon’s dense forests.

            To love a place is to worry about it, not as a traveler passing through, but as a dweller looking at rainfall maps and tracing the path of atmospheric rivers. I read the forecast for places an hour and a half away and four thousand feet higher. It says “heavy snow” up there, and I smile at the mounting snowfall for the season at two hundred and thirty-one inches as of this morning at Willamette Pass, where I cross-country skied a week ago.

            I am so grateful for this March, coming in like a lion in winter, even though it will keep us homebound on a Saturday morning with a long list of errands to run. No matter, I’d rather go out on the trails in my boots, looking for tracks of deer and birds and who knows what else.

            So let my gardens sleep a little longer. There is no reason to rush the roses. This morning, my favorite color is icy blue.

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