A continuity of gray

A walk this morning at White Rock Lake bewilders the eye with a world far removed from color save that evident around my feet.  Earth and sky meet in an endless gray fog draped over existence.

Winter too often confuses the unobservant with its deceptive looks: a landscape barren and harsh, once bright colors washed away by mellow tones of brown.  Hidden within this stark realm, however, the observant soul can find the continuity of seasons in every bud, every seed, every sleeping marvel that waits for spring.

Yet this fog, this vaporous atmosphere that rests against the skin like a cold washcloth, this air that can be felt and touched as much as breathed. . .

Well, a new continuity presents itself.  All things take on the shape of gray both near and far.  Only before each footstep can even the slightest wisp of color be found, and then only if one looks no further than an outreached hand.  Beyond that existence melts away in that ether where the sky has swallowed the world.

Distant shores become dreams, ghostly specters dancing in the clouds.

Fog draped over the lake and distant tree-lined shore

Light comes from all directions.  Only by knowing where the southeastern sky is can I identify that place in which the sun should hang this late hour.  Sunrise occurred much earlier, yet no sign of our lonely star can be seen.  Its brightness is scattered and reflected until it comes from everywhere and nowhere.  Shadows do not exist in this place except where they dance in the all-consuming gray.

Things familiar transform into things unfamiliar, apparitions of demons longing to take flight, to swarm above and about me, to carry me away to unearthly doom.

Double-crested cormorants amassed in a fog-draped tree

When finally I reach that place so well known to me, the sailing club resting in view of the Big Thicket, I find the gray has consumed all but the nearest vessels.  Standing upon the pier within a stone’s throw of ships at rest, they offer nothing more than escape further away from what is seen.  Shrouded in mystery, they silently beckon for recognizable shorelines which remain cloaked.

Nearby sailboats moored on the fog-covered lake

Those further from me offer even less promise.

Distant sailboats moored on the fog-covered lake

What glorious beauty is this world of unyielding shades, this world where hues change only in brightness but not color.  Even the difference between light and dark rests hidden within singular tints of sameness.  While others might find it boring or obscured, I find it breathtaking and magnificent.

I hope someday to return to this vision, to partake of its stunning winter beauty hidden deep within a continuity of gray.

[please note additional photos remain from this morning’s spectacular, mood-filled walk; also important is that none of these photos have been modified outside of resizing; what you see is precisely what I saw as I wandered about the lake, and you see it just as I saw it]

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