A pale moon sheds its thin light across the summit of Sunrise Peak and highlights the avalanche chutes of the sheer slopes of mount Pendelton. As the season progresses, and the snows deepen, there will be nights that the landscape will be illuminated in the countenance of diamond and liquid mercury. On some of those nights, in the quiet stillness, we might go for a bit of a walk, marveling at the stark interplay of light and shadow.
After a walkabout, finding new ruins upon a familiar trail-because we stepped off the accepted path-we had a shot and a beer on the front porch. A pale autumn sun had just dipped below the ridge line, and the valley floor became blanket in cool shadow. We mused how it was about a month away that we'll lose direct sunlight upon the house. That, for us, marks the beginning of winter. So it goes.
The clouds of the day gave the sunlight a checkered pattern across the mountainsides. The clouds of the night scatter the moonlight in phantasmal ways. I used to call nights like that Ghost Moon Nights, and when there was a Ghost Moon things seemed to take a turn for the surreal-even for me-but, perhaps I was looking for omens. Patterns in the chaos. The folly of youth.
It has come to that point in autumn when the light has shifted; gone is warm softness of spring and summer or the golden haze of aspen season. This is when the light becomes pale, stark, almost insubstantial at times. The casts of light that speak of snow and fires and breath seen as mist clouds and warming drinks.
I watch with a that fascination I have toward the movement of the cycles with all its magic, mystery, and koo-koo-kachu. It hardly seems long at all before just after the sun comes back that the light starts to soften once more. There is substance once more. The wheel keeps spinning whether or not you bother to pay attention, but it's within those small moments between the heartbeats that real magic happens.