The earth is tilting. Can you feel the shift?
On September 23, the autumn equinox brought together day and night of equal lengths. The slow slide down the dark tunnel began. Each day, a few minutes shorter. Each night, a bit longer. Do you sense the battle between the light and the dark?
The dark seems to be winning. Hello, season of slow decline.
As the light slips away, I soak up as much as I can. The first snowfall is a bonus.
The world brightens under the snow and seems to glow.
The blanket of white catches sparks of light; ignites the prairie.
Unexpected sunshine hangs crystal earrings from unlikely grasses and dry forbs; dresses them with diamonds.
The cold ices the pond, which glitters in the brief light of late afternoon by my backyard prairie.
The light pools in Willoway Brook, reflecting the savanna by the Schulenberg Prairie.
Such a season of contrast, of opposites.
Close by the tallgrass, I find a vole hole and tracks, evidence that I’m not the only one who wants to escape the dark.
Even the empty milkweed pods, bereft of their silky floss, seem luminous in the low-slung sunlight.
I’m thankful for whatever glimpses of light I can get. Whatever holds the light and reflects it.
Small solaces as the world seemingly plunges into darkness. But I’m grateful for these moments. Each reflected glow. Each spark of light. Every small bright spot.
I know what’s coming. The darkest day, the winter solstice. December 21, the shortest day of the year. Soon. Very soon.
Until then, I’ll keep looking for the light. Wherever it may be found.
All photos by Cindy Crosby (top to bottom): Schulenberg Prairie, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL; author’s window to the prairie, Glen Ellyn, IL; SP at TMA; TMA; bee balm (Monarda fistulosa), author’s prairie, GE; asters, author’s prairie, GE; author’s prairie pond, GE; SP savanna, SP at TMA; New Jersey tea (Ceanothus americanus) SP at TMA; vole hole and tracks, author’s prairie, GE; milkweed pod (Asclepias syriaca), author’s prairie, GE; author’s prairie, GE; SP at TMA; author’s prairie, GE: SP at TMA; SP at TMA.