The morning light was like gold shimmering off the surface of a treasure after the cressets, which had kept hope alive through the night, had been snuffed out. The hymns from yesterday's masses in the chapels lingered in the white pathways, but never overwhelmed the private silence of early morning walkers. The tracks of the deer were light and left no mark that would last the day.
People said there was no green in winter, but if one really looked, there was. Not just a patch here or there, but everywhere. There was the wintergreen of the moss, the deep, dark green of the pine and spruce, but even the youthful green of leaves, their color held by the cold like a diva holds a high note. Wherever people said there was no such thing, it seemed to be in plain sight. The birds had apparently flown south, but their wings flapped as intensely as life itself between the branches. In the dark cavity of winter, where it had been said there was only misery, there was joy so intense, it was as intoxicating as the scent of a lily.
In the sky there was no time. Pink gave rise to blue which caressed clouds that never wondered "how long" or "when". To ask these questions would be to let the illusion of finiteness devour their image. All of it all around - the bushes and tufts of wild grass - waited patiently for us to discover what already was. We didn't have to fight in fear of the end because there was none.
When excess, denial and the illusion of time were gone, air and light found their way into the spaces of every cell. It had been self-evident all along. People found peace.