Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Half Full, Half Empty
Words by Greg
Photos by Greg and Trina
Winter. The snow came fast and laid a thick blanket on the valley and surrounding mesas. Covered over everything autumn and left us with winter. Not a warm, cuddly blanket of snow. A cold shimmering blanket that sent heat back to the sky and let the cold creep deep into houses and bones.
Snow doesn't fall on vertical stone. So the walls of our neighborhood canyons stayed bare. The low winter sunshine warmed the south-facing walls. Snow near those warmer walls vanished in the relative heat. While the north-facing slopes stayed cold and snowy. Which left canyons half full, half empty of snow.
We spent winter days exploring these canyons. Seeking the sunny warmth of bare stone. Seeking small creeks, frozen and unfrozen. Seeking hidden nooks in wide landscapes. Seeking places where we could be alone, just our small pack of two people, two dogs. Places where -- in a world that is at least half full of people -- we could explore the half that is empty.
Being alone in these places encouraged us to be alert and aware. Encouraged us to observe and to speculate answers. To questions of crushed stone. Of crystal snow. Of shadow and light on winter grass. Of the slow motion of the geological earth. Of footprints of unseen animals. Of water falling. Of the low arc of daylight. Of fossils and time. Of the elusive blossoms of January. Of mud on dog feet.
Time spent in places empty of people. Time seeking the bright side of winter canyons. Time spent filling our lives with a glimmer of just how full empty places can be.