The sun rising through high-altitude murk isn’t much brighter than the goldfinches chattering in the treetops, less than three hours till the solstice.
Solstice, and the ground is white with frost. The stream has subsided to the quietest of gurgles. Assorted chirps from sparrows and the inevitable wren.
The fog slowly thins, revealing gray-green patches of rejuvenated lichen on tree trunks and limbs. The year pivots on its hinge.
As the clouds thin, the flat-white ground acquires a gloss. Trees grow tenuous shadows, improbably long and skinny on this shortest of days.
Jays, crows, and a raven: the solstice soundtrack. When I open my laptop, a red bead of a ladybug is huddled among the black keys.
Solstice sunrise turns the western ridge red as an altar. A brown creeper fishes in all the dark valleys of the walnut tree’s bark.
Solstice sun in the treetops. The lilac quivers as two titmice move through, grooming it for insects. A fawn dances out into the meadow.
Yakety-yak on the porch, dee dee dee in the birches, and everywhere a drip drip drip drip drip: gray solstice morning.