My wife Kristen Lindquist is engaged in her own blogging project, and unlike me she has the discipline to post a new entry each day. Her blog, Book of Days, is premised on the concept of finding some recent experience, exceptional or mundane, and using it as raw material to write a haiku. But Kristen doesn't just write a poem, she explains what prompted her to do so in elegant, pellucid prose that frequently knocks me on my keister.
Here she's describing a snowshoe trek she made up Beech Hill in the neighboring town of Rockport:
Elsewhere, a pattern of snow on a branch looked just like a turkey track. Stands of staghorn sumac held up their velvety red clusters in offering to the sky. We found an acorn that had been tucked into the hollow of a small tree by some well-intentioned squirrel long ago. Along the trail we could hear wind rushing in the spruce grove at the summit, the distant Owls Head foghorn, the patter of snowflakes falling on branches and dead leaves. But we couldn't see the ocean from any point, only scarves of snow sweeping over the trees and soft contours of the near landscape. A place very familiar to us both was revealing a new face.
At one point on the way down, the sun tried to break through the clouds. But even the sun was too weak to overcome the storm. The solar disk hung there like a strange planetary apparition for a moment and then was gone. Such light casts no shadows. Dark, dead stalks against white fields offered a sense of contrast, but no softness, or color—except in the strange, wind-carved crevices in a some drifts that shone with the eerie blue light of glacial ice.
And here is the haiku she was inspired to write about that day:
Snow drops a curtain,
transforms the path through trees, fields.
In beauty we walk.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Kristen is a better nature writer than I am. Such light casts no shadows. Man, I wish I'd written that.