I watched a movie that made me think of New England winters, all the little hills huddled together as though cold and the gentle rising foothills of the mountain, sloping up and up again, as though taking a long, slow breath and all the slopes and clefts were drifted over with a breath of purple and red, and blue in the shadows, while above small, cold clouds drifted by.
How all the branches above the narrow road interlocked in elegant, abrupt patterns, swirling as the car went past, the lights glinting over the glass windows and how, in the silence of winter, a single stone dropped could echo through the cold, still air, the rustling of acorns through the leaves, the rippling of the lake water as it sifted through the corrugated metal pipe and out the other side and the opaque beauty of the water, golden dark and winking with the light, breaking and joining and passing over the moving water.
I would walk, I would walk for miles and return again, past the uncertain shadows of the crouching woods which over ran the banks; leaning, leaning in and revealing in sudden shafts of winter light a fall of amber leaves, the glossy dark of rhododendron and the simplicity of a single branch.
Close to the road lay the clapboard houses, moss growing on the foundations, windows shaded and quiet; their owners away, gone away to Boston for the weekend, for the lights, for the seafood, for the symphony.
Coming home, the sun would set in my eyes and by this I knew it was west, but I could not see the entirety of the country spread out before me. I could not believe that inconceivably large sprawl of land was in that direction; the rest of the world must lay behind me and I walked toward the sea.
The setting sun would turn the trees to ink, drawn with heavy and wavering hand on gold flared paper that was the sky and from behind me the growing dark would rise up and eat away the rest of the light until only a pale pink remained and grew dim and died away into blue and as I went up the stone steps to the house, the sky flared up behind me with stars; they overspread the sky with their own precisely moving tides, their channels and tidal estuaries of white light, their swirls and angular constellations.
I would pause, fingers frozen and take one last, deep breath of the night, the bitter, metallic edge of frost, the faint pungency of fallen leaves. Holding it, I would open the door to the hot and heated air of the house.
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