The Seasons Transform

Vibrant leaves group-danced to the ground; green fields gave way to earth tones; and shorter days rationed the sun. As nighttime temperatures flirted with freezing, those of us who live in Northwest Colorado awakened, pulled bedding around our shoulders, and wondered if we should turn on our furnaces.

Fall in the Colorado

Despite these early warnings, as September and October streamed by, we dared to dream that this year fall would achieve immortality. The autumn days continued to offer gold and dappled brown beneath polished skies and an undiminished sun that bathed us in midday warmth. Our footsteps crunched as we crossed still-green lawns, breathing air rich and earthy from decaying leaves, turned fields, and cattails in still water. The Yampa River, patterned with yellow aspen leaves and shadowed by migrating geese, wandered, slow and easy, at the edge of town. And on all sides, mountain peaks, barely misted by snow, kept watch as the burnished weeks drifted by.

Then it happened: winter descended with a swiftness that left us unprepared for the breathtaking transformation of the first heavy snowfall.

Beautiful winter landscape with snow covered trees at night

As I stepped outside into morning darkness to bask again in the essence of winter, flakes, heavy and dense, swirled around my head and fell, creating a muffling layer of snow that rendered my familiar world silent and unknown. Under the diminished streetlight, bathed by the floating fog and falling flakes of first light, seven deer — stilled and posed like snow-dusted statues — bent their heads, low and at length, to the ground: the only worshippers in a hushed cathedral built of blue spruce and white snow, they seemed to pray. Humbled, I watched.

 

 

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31 thoughts on “The Seasons Transform

  1. Thank you Rob for your comment. Coming from you I consider it high praise indeed. As I’m sure you understand, I put in a lot of work on this one, trying to capture what I witnessed that snowy morning and what our fall was like. And you’re right, I enjoyed the the link, laughing aloud several times. It quickly took me back to my days working with teenagers.

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    • It seems that the more you care, the harder it is to describe. I spend so much time on descriptions that the story line that connects them starts to become insignificant. This is truly one of the best I’ve seen. I’m going to study this, how you created pause without punctuation. I want to look at that.

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  2. Ahh, moments intertwined as effortlessly as nature moves between fall and into winter. Lovely. The deer, the silence of snow, the settling into fall as deeply as your heart desires even though you know…it will change soon. Beautiful. Thank you for taking the time to paint such a lovely picture. I am so thankful to read your work.

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  3. I enjoyed your post so much Janet, I almost went and put on a woollen cardigan! Beautiful words and photos, you have a great talent to capture the essence. 🙂 Enjoy the purity of the snow.

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  4. I think it’s the use of words that start with the same letters that catch the eye and caused me to slow down.
    group-danced to the ground; green fields
    flirted with freezing
    brown beneath . . . sun that bathed . . . burnished weeks
    falling flakes of first light

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      • It showed me how hard you worked on that piece. I could tell you agonized over every word. I heard from an editor yesterday who wanted me to stretch “Dark Currents” to 1600 words. I told him that I was going to leave it where it was and that I’d shoot for that on the next piece.

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      • I knew you would understand the concentrated thought that went into such a short piece. I admire your stance on “Dark Currents.” I’ve found that I can cut when an editor asks me to; sometimes they know what they’re talking about and some careful deletions result in a better piece. But expand by 1600 words when you’ve given the piece everything you have and the words and length are what they need to be? Might as well ask me to grow a few inches taller. Ain’t happening.

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      • He told me I had great descriptions and an evocative voice, but the piece was too depressing for him to publish. So he didn’t get it anyway. He wanted me to change it to a what happens in the spring piece, and do it in 1600 words. . . . In the spring, I go fishing. I told him I’d work up a humor piece for next month. I’m at 1800 words on that one, but I have a month to work on it.

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      • Hmm, I thought “Dark Currents” was about personal redemption — and had great descriptions and an evocative voice. Are you going to submit it to other publications? Where do you normally submit your pieces? Have you ever considered Outside Magazine which seems to be a bit of a macho publication on first glance, (We received it free for a few months for some reason we never did discover.) but on really reading the articles in it, I think it would have room for your work.

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      • I have several mags that I send to. It’s too early to tell if it will get picked up. Most of the fly fishing mags, Field & Stream, and a couple of others. I’ll check Outside Magazine out. Thanks for the tip. These pieces get sent out on the day they go up on the blog, so I haven’t heard from most of the mags yet.

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  5. I love the prose in this post. Your rich, descriptive passages allowed me to experience autumn and winter alongside you. And those seven deer! I’ll think of your final paragraph every time I see deer in the snow on my morning walks.

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  6. A beautiful painting of Autumn and Winter arriving. Janet, over the past year your writing and acceptance of each season has slowly transformed my self-limiting enjoyment of only Spring and Summer. I love green and in winter ache to see that color around me. I feel a dread when the last leaves are falling, knowing it’s at least 5-6 months until green starts to show again. Your appreciation of each season is opening my eyes and showing me what I’ve missed by waiting, waiting, waiting. Thank you for this new awareness, and I’m trying not to be sad after learning what I’ve let go past me.

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    • What a lovely comment, Mary. As I think about our long friendship, I realized we’ve made a habit of sharing, learning from one another, and growing. You’ve influenced my life in large ways and small, so I’m happy my love of and writing about the seasons has impacted you.

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